We drove from Queenstown to Manapouri which was a beautiful drive through the mountains. Little did we know along this drive would be the last sun we would see for a good few days, and the last sand-fly free area for a while.
We camped in Manapouri before our Doubtful Sound tour which incorporated a ferry, bus, cruise, bus, ferry ride! We took the ferry along a beautiful stretch of water from Manapouri, through mountains topped with snow springing up from the still water around.
We then got on board a bus which stopped at a couple of obligatory photo stops before reaching the cruise for the untouched Doubtful Sound.
The cruise took us up the main stretch of Doubtful Sound and towards the Tasman Sea. The day was cold and windy, so whilst everyone else was inside, we stayed as long as we could outside, until our fingers and toes were about to drop off and warmed ourselves on the complementary tea and coffees!
All around us was so much wildlife including the fur seal, blue penguins and yellow eyed penguins, and we were even lucky enough to see the pod of bottlenosed dolphins which live in the Sound. The bottlenosed dolphins really put into perspective how small the Hector Dolphins were!
All around us the hills to our sides towered above, littered with vegetation, there was something magical about this place! Whilst the weather was pretty wet, it did mean that we saw all the waterfalls come out to play on the hillsides.On our way back we stopped in an arm off of the main sound to experience “silence”. More of a place to cut the boat engine and let us hear natures song.
After this we headed back along the same route, back to Manapouri to complete our day.