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Published: February 22nd 2010
Saturday, Feb. 20th - Queenstown
Sunday, Feb. 21st-Monday, Feb. 22nd - Doubtful Sound (Fiords of New Zealand)
Queenstown is known as the adrenalin capitol of NZ - bungee jumping and all - but for us it was a nice relief from our craziness. We took in a view from the gondola, attended an art fair and took a real coal steamer across Lake Wakipuka to a turn of the century English homestead. The town is nestled in the Remarkable Mountain Range with the 50 mile Lake Waikipu providing the backdrop. The town has an Aspen feel except for the fun seekers - who will try paragliding, parachuting or hang-gliding for yucks.
We then left for an overnight trip on the Fiordland Navigator - a boat that sleeps 70, on Doubtful Sound - this is the largest fiord in the NZ Alps that is so remote you must take a one hour transport boat ride to a 40 min. ride over a construction road to reach the end of the Sound to board your boat. This is the wettest part of NZ (being on the West Coast) and did not disappoint, as we saw our fair share of mist
and showers as our overnight schooner sailed through the Sound out to the Tasman Sea. Along the way we saw seals, hundreds of 1000 foot waterfalls and local blue penguins. We moored before dinner in the Crooked Arm and went kayaking where the water was glass like at dusk. As has been a constant we continue to be amazed at the international vagabounds that we meet. Our latest “friends” are Annie and Nico from Holland - worldly travelers who continue to add to our bucket list of places to visit. Sharing these new adventures with others has truly been a highlight of this trip.
Now we are spending 2 days at the most glorious lodge, looking over Lake Te Anau and snow covered Alps - hosted by Dawn and Mark. We look forward to tramping (the NZ term for hiking) around the Southern Fiordland National Park some more tomorrow, before we fly to meet Peter in Sydney on Wednesday.
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