Doubtful Sound

Trip Start Jan 19, 2006
Trip End Jan 19, 2007

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Weather was pelting down with rain all last night so weren't hopeful about our trip today.

Got our bus to Lake Manapouri for our boat to take us over the lake to then get our bus to then take us to the next lake for us boat to Doubtful Sound. Is pretty remote and very few tourists come here which makes it better in some ways to Milford. Small group of 15 of us on the trip with a great guide, Steve, took us across the lake where the weather was a bit drizzly. At the other end started to see the underwater power station that has been built here and then got a bus down one of the tunnels to be shown the main area of it. Was pretty interesting and certainly better than flooding the whole area unlike in Tasmania/China. Bus then took us down another amazing valley to the bigger boat that was to take us across the fjord/sound and out to the sea. Weather was cloudy again but dry and had a lovely cruise around particularly great as we saw about 6 dolphins feeding in the shallows on the way out - millions of photos taken here! Further out also saw some seals and cormorants which was cool. Scenery still amazing, lots of waterfalls and got dead close - not as enclosed as at Milford but we prob enjoyed it more as it was a smaller more personal trip plus got to saw dolphins! On way back was even better as they had finished feeding and were playing in the middle of the 'lake' must have been about 20 or so of them and could hear they communicating and they were swimming around the boat and jumping occasionally. Was fantastic - esp as dolphins are one of my fave animals. Run out of space on my digital/video camera. Got back late as spent so long watching dolphins etc (guide was v relaxed about it all).

Had been raining all day in Te Anau! Back to the van and decided to drive up to Queenstown as needed internet and to do some more work on Oz application so we could send the forms off tomorrow. Pretty grim drive but got to Queenstown about 9ish and had a Chinese meal out (special treat) as was pretty cold out. Drove towards Glenorchy - west up the lake to find a spot to camp. You are never sure when you park up in the dark if its ok or not and whats around you (e.g a building site) but we are rarely disappointed!
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