Published: March 1st 2009February 25th 2009
Doubtful Sound, Fjiordland, South Island, New Zealand
February 25th, 2009
We had a relaxing morning as our tour started only at 12:30 this afternoon. We had pre-ordered lunches so that when we showed up at the first boat to cross Lake Manapouri, our lunch boxes were waiting for us. We were booked on a 7 ½ hours tour so the lunch was a God send.
We crossed the huge lake in front of our motel; it feeds a big hydro electric plant as its waters tumble down 170 m to the ocean in Deep Cove. Deep Cove is where our second cruise began on the sound which it is not a sound, it is a fjord- made by glaciers as opposed to sound which a river breaking into the ocean from inside.
But that is not even the exciting ride: between the Lake Manapouri cruise and Deep Cove, we boarded a bus for a 21 km ride up a mountain and down the other side; we saw a moss forest and a wall of liverworts as this is a rain forest. There has been 11 days without rain therefore no spectacular waterfalls anywhere and thankfully no washed out roads. The road
was a series of switchbacks with cliffs on one side or the other.
In Deep Cove, we boarded a second big beautiful deep v-hull cruiser which took us out onto a 40 km body of pretty calm water with towering mountains on both sides. We navigated through beautiful scenery, saw penguins, seals, a very few birds and sailed the Tasman Sea which can have 8 m seas, we had a small swell. The afternoon was lovely and we never got tired of the many panoramas as the sun and clouds were changing the view continuously. Made it home by 8, tired, a bit sunburned but ready to go back out tomorrow for a 9 am tour.
Thanks for the e-mail Jennifer, keep us posted.
#1 Interesting about all the workers in the tourist industry we deal with: they are 50-60 years old and retired. Because the tourist business lasts 2 months only here, there are no young workers; everybody just works at it as a sideline.
#2 No birds in New Zealand as stoats were introduced here to eat rabbits that were eating the grass in farmers field really meant for sheep. The stoats ate all the bunnies and
as they could climb trees they started eating the bird eggs when bunnies ran out. There are traps to catch stoats every 50 yards on the road over the mountain. The green-ecological system is very strong in NZ, the DOC (Department of Conservation) is trying to eradicate foreign introduced species to get back the balance the indigenous species used to enjoy and doing this one island or area at a time.
3 People in NZ are relaxed and humorous. It is a joy to travel here and quite inexpensive as the NZ $ is worth 60 Cents Cnd. Their food is GOOD, I like the savory muffins and meat pies and their deserts, I like every thing about NZ.
There are more photos below