It’s been a while since our last post and I’ve heard it has a few of you worried. Don’t worry, Robbie and I are OK! We’ve been driving up the eastern coast of Australia and haven’t had much Wi-Fi access but we’re having a great time (and survived the cyclone that decided to join us)!
Robbie mentioned in a previous post that we visited Doubtful Sound, which is in the Fiordlands National Park and is also a World Heritage listed location with UNESCO, and I have been wanting to write about our trip and just haven’t had the time (or the Wi-Fi access). And whaddya know?! The Wi-Fi at our campsite actually works!! In case you’re wondering, this never happens…I digress.
Robbie and I had one more full day in New Zealand and we wanted to make sure it was a good one. We had debated whether or not to tour Milford Sound or Doubtful Sound. They both sounded awesome, but we decided on Doubtful because it was actually closer (less driving) and it wasn’t as popular (less people). And we were so glad we made that decision!
We got up SUPER early the morning of our tour, I’m talking 5 a.m., and headed to Manapouri, where we were going to be picked up. Manapouri is about a 2 hour drive away from Queenstown and the sun didn’t come up until right before we got there, so it was a pretty boring drive.Once we got to Manapouri, we got on a boat that took us across Lake Manapouri, then boarded a bus to drive us across the Southern Alps over the Wilmont Pass and finally made it to the boat we would take into the Sound. It was a long morning but well worth it. One thing to note before I move on…it had been raining and cloudy pretty much the entire time we were in Queenstown. We wanted to do so much while we were there but the weather prohibited us…and then on the day of our Doubtful Sound tour the skies cleared, it was sunny and wasn’t raining! I think we picked the best day to go. Out on the Sound we got to see all kinds of wildlife…penguins, dolphins, seals, etc. The best was the pod of dolphins. They wanted to “play” with us and were swimming right up next to the boat. They even did a little show of jumping in the air! Fun little fact about Doubtful Sound. The film crew of Jurassic Park wanted to film the famous waterfall scene in Doubtful Sound because it has so many waterfalls but the weather prohibited them (it can be quite rainy and cold), so they moved the shoot to Kauai (which we’ve also seen). There also a lot of different rock formations and interesting geologic features. The boat would get up right next to them so we could all take pictures. Some of them even looked like they were in the shape of animals. After our long day on the Sound we still had another 2 hour drive back to Queenstown, however, there were some great views that we didn’t get to see on our drive to Manapouri. We pulled over a few times to take some photos. Overall it was one of our favorite days in New Zealand. It was a great way to end our time there. We looked forward to moving on to the next place but since New Zealand was our first stop on our extended vacation it will always hold a special place in our hearts.