24 March to 29 March 2018: Queenstown
The Chair of RAAus, Mick and I were invited to the iAOPA conference in 2018, which was held in Queenstown in late March. RAAus is where I work as CEO, Recreational Aviation Australia.
Before and after the conference we got to see a little bit of Queenstown.
Queenstown is a fascinating place. Nestled at the foothills of some rugged landscape and bordering the magnificent Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown offers adventure sports, great food and some great scenery.
You name it, and you can pick a sport to challenge yourself. Para-gliding behind a boat, hang gliding off a mountain, bungee jumping, luge racing down a mountain, mountain biking, or just even walking – everything here as an edge to it, not only in difficulty, but literally an edge of a mountain.
For the little more sedate there is mini golf. Something Mick and I tried after a drive to through the Remarkables. They are called that because quite simply they are.
The min golf was also spectacular and lots of fun. no that isn’t a real rocket, it is a hole on the 18 hole indoor mini golf course we played. The courses is full of interesting holes, which ave a variety of challenges, moving parts, lights, sounds and themes.
After going for and a drive and min golf we then did some down hill driving on the luge. Not easy with my eyesight, but still a lot of fun.
After a day of fun and outdoor activities, we then headed into the conference for three days. Some great speakers, great information on the future aviation strategies both in New Zealand and globally and a lot of good stuff for me to take back to work.
As part of the conference we were treated to a cruise on Lake Wakatipu followed by dinner. We boarded the TSS Earnslaw – a comfortably-appointed vintage steamship, which cruised on the lake for an hour or so before taking us to Walter Peak for dinner at the Colonel’s Homestead. Dinner was sumptuous and very enjoyable as we sat with delegates and discussed all things aviation.
After dinner we were treated to a workmen dog display and sheep shearing. The international audience, but us Aussies had seen a sheep or two being sheered before, nonetheless it was very interesting and a lot of fun.
We spent some time with key Australian players back in Queenstown before calling it a night.
After the conference concluded we went flying to and outback farm as well as some mountain flying exploring the many ranges around Queenstown.
The trip was a wonderful experience and combined work and pleasure nicely.
Queenstown is one of those places everyone should visit. It has it all.