Fiordland; the land of dreams, legend and stunning unearthly beauty. Fiordland; a national park the size of Wales with a total population of about 200. A few thousand tourists visit it annually. There are two fiords/sounds that stand out in their famous stakes and can be visited using commercial tour guides. The other Fiords can really only be explored by boat from sea, on foot or by helicopter and in special circumstances. The two that are most well known are Milford Sounds and Doubtful Sounds. The first one is the most visited one. It is easier to reach and very beautiful. Doubtful is harder to reach . One has to take a boat over Lake Manipouri then cross over a hill by bus and only then have you reached the sound. But Doubtful is without a shadow of a doubt the more beautiful of the two. A lot of those calendar pictures were taken in Doubtful Sounds. So when I told SO that I wanted to visit Fiordland I really meant Doubtful. I knew full well that this is also the expensive option and I considered myself a a bit daft for even wanting to consider such a cost. SO on the other hand had decided after reading all the tourist descriptors and my stories that Doubtful Sounds was the perfect location for a honeymoon. The end result was that we booked an overnight cruise from Queenstown to Doubtful sounds. The epitomy of decadence but also a wish come true.
We were picked up at 8.30 from our hotel. It was raining that morning, But by the time we left it was dry again. In the bus we again had a driver giving us a lot of information OWe arrived in Manipouri around midday . Weather was clearing but there were still many clouds over the lake. During the trip we had people at our table that seemed to be mutes. So after a few tries we gave up on our American travel companions. On the other side of the lake we again ended up with some fun bus drivers They took us over to Deep Cove (permanent population 1) on the other side of the ridge. The pass over the ridge is magnificent. Due to the rain on the previous day there were little waterfalls everywhere. hose falls only exist for a few hours as the only thing they do is take the water from the top to the bottom. Once the water is drained the cease to exist. Views are overwhelming and we loved every second of the trip. Once on the boat we were directed to out cabin. It was a twin cabin, so despite the honeymoon feeling we were separated bed wise. But we did have our own bathroom and views on the outside which was great.
Moving at slow speed through the majestic grandeur of Doubtful Sound was as living in a slow moving movie. The weather had completely cleared and the sky was the wonderful NZ blue. We were sitting on deck We were in luck where dolphins are concerned. A pod of 6 followed our boat hoping that the propeller would bring up some easy catch for them. It was nature at its very very best. In the afternoon we had some watersports, SO decided to go with the kayak. I decided to take the motorised dinghy. So loved the peddleing int he kayak and I loved the guided tour further out. We saw some shy waterbirds up close The bird was fishing for flies close to a tree that had come down. Unusually he kept fishing instead of flying away. But then again we were almost on top his banquet and he was not letting anybody else in. Rather having those peopel aroudn than loosing out on a feast! We saw many many wood pigeons, with flights up and down the mountain walls. Paragliding pigeon way. Cool bananas.
The next sport event was swimming. So did take a dive, I did not. Waaaaay too cold. But my SO was brave and cold upon his return. I simply took pictures. That day we met seals, and many many different species of bird. Lots of albatrosses and winged things I really do not know the name of
By that stage we were sailing onto the Tasman sea. If we were to sail on we would not stop until Argentina as you are south of Australia by then. But luckily we turned around and got some food. Great food and mainly lots of it. We had good company (finally) in the form of a German and and his son. The evening we had a slideshow about the Sounds with aimals we’d never ever see as they live high upon the rocks. Our next wish was to see the stars. After all the light pollutions there is zilch or so we thought. We had not counted on the boat. The boat itself was far too lit up to see the stars. It’s beacon was as a huge sun int the top of the mast. Big bummer. So instead we are going to sleep. Tomorrow will be an early start Breakfast between 7 and 8 and then we will return to Queenstown.