18 April 2016
Today we went on tour of Doubtful Sound. A driver picked up at the hotel at 8:30 am. We had a 20 minute drive to Lake Manapouri where we took an hour boat ride across the lake. While waiting to board the boat at Lake Manapouri we we saw HUGE trout swimming about the dock . We learned that the lake is also home to longfin eel that the Maori people fish but the lake is protected from commercial fishing. It was a beautiful ride if a bit cold as we set up top!
We pulled ashore at the Manapouri Power Station for an hour bus ride to Doubtful Sound. This was a beautiful drive! There were so many beautiful photo opportunities but the driver only stopped once!
The 3 hour boat ride through the sound, out to the mouth of the Tasmin Sea and back was beautiful. We were fortunate to have good weather with only a smattering of rain for a short time. Doubtful Sound is actually a fiord. There were tall mountain cliffs covered in lush tropical vegetation with many waterfalls. The boat had three levels each with large windows all around for clear viewing. The water deep in the sound was fairly calm but it got quite choppy as we approached the sea. Interestingly the top layer of the waterway is fresh water while the bottom is sea water; two distinct ecosystems. The top layer of water comes from the runoff and the rivers that pour into it from the many waterfalls. The salt water and the fresh do not mix.
By the time we made the return trip down the mountain, across Lake Manapouri and back to our hotel we were completely knackered!