The original plan had been to return to Queenstown by coach, as that was what I had booked from Denmark, but on the way out in the bus, we had been told that it was also possible to fly back to Queenstown and we would be able to book that on the spot, even if we hadn't included it in advance. I'd read about this already back in Denmark, but had initially decided against it, because I felt it was too expensive, but the more I thought about it, the more tempted I was. Several reasons:
1) I'd be back 3.5 hrs earlier! Worth adding as a consideration, as the coach wouldn't have me back until 8pm, and then I'd still have to get back into town in order to get dinner.
2) Though it was a lot of money, it wasn't actually expensive for what it was.
3) If not now, then when? I had the money in my budget, and knew I would regret it if I didn't do it for financial reasons alone.
4) AMAZING experience and fantastic view!
5) A once-in-a-lifetime experience.
And last, but not least...
6) Money for tourism = more help to Chch. Once the guide told us that proceeds would go to the rebuilding of Christchurch, there really was no doubt in my mind any longer.
I am SO glad I did! Yes, it cost a pretty penny, but it was worth every bit of it! Our guide met us as we disembarked and sent us towards the airport (airstrip, really). Here we were met by our pilot, Stan, and shown to our small 10-person Cessna. I was about to enter the plane through th back door, when Stan told me, "There's room for one up in the cockpit if you'd like?" Don't have to ask me twice. "CAN I???" I exclaimed, and giddy with joy over my luck, I immediately jumped in.
Without a doubt one of the coolest things I've ever done, so once again, I'll let the photos do the talking.
Queenstown coming up in the distance...
"They're making a
Hopefully it's now perfectly clear why I took 300 photos that day alone ;-)