Sandy & Verne Down Under travel blog


Lake Marapouri

Doubtful Sound as seen from Wilmot Pass

Cruising DOubtful Sound







Up before daylight to get to the lake to take us across Lake Manapouri (has 34 island located in it) to get the bus to take us through Wilmot Pass to get to the boat to cruise Doubtful Sound. While we were waiting for the first boat we met an American who asked us if we were going kayaking on the sound. I couldn’t help but laugh. She was a school teacher from Denver who after 12 years of teaching has taken a semester off to travel. She has been in NZ since February 10 and has been backpacking. She was kayaking in the sound and camping over night. She is not returning to the US for at least another month!

Our Nature Guide and Bus Driver was Rex, an interesting chap. I say he was a little bit OCD. He certainly had his monologue memorized and presented it in a monotone (even his attempt at jokes). We did see the 3 permanent waterfalls. The area gets some 5 meters of rain each year but is presently in a drought.

We were met on our boat by Captain Harry and his crew of one, Demelza. We enjoyed hot drinks and warm muffins and set off. Doubtful Sound featured many waterfalls, one can only imagine how much bigger and how many more there are in the rainy season. We met up with dolphins swimming alongside the boat. They seemed larger than the ones in the Bay of Islands, this may have been because we were so much closer…we could see the water come out of their blow holes and see their eyes. We also spotted some blue penguins. They are the smallest of penguins and looked like ducks on top of the water. A second meeting of dolphins feeding brought a mother and her baby near the boat.

We enjoyed a wonderful lunch prepared by Demelza and continued to enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery.

Our captain informed us there are 1000 earthquakes a year in this area as it is situated right on the fault line.

It was a great day, although a long one. We had partly sunny weather and it was a bit chilly (I would have liked less than 6 layers).

We headed on to Invercargill, the southernmost point we will be in NZ. This area seems to have more sheep and larger herds. I saw my first black sheep! There were also more deer farms and some other animal that was either a deer on steroids or an elk!

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