Monday, February 17th
Today consisted of a bus ride, boat ride, then bus, then boat, bus, boat and then bus ride to Queenstown to finish our day! We drove around Lake Te Anau on our coach to arrive at Lake Manapouri. Here we boarded a boat to cross the lake.
After crossing Lake Manapouri we boarded a bus to take us over Wilmot Pass, part of Fiordland National Park to the boat landing to explore Doubtful Sound which is only accessible by boat. Our original itinerary was to visit Milford Sound but due to recent flooding the road leading into the Sound was damaged. Our trip leader and our site coordinator told us that we were lucky to be seeing Doubtful Sound instead. They both felt is was better. Doubtful Sound is bigger and quieter than Milford Sound. It is also the deepest and second longest of the South Island’s fiords.
We enjoyed many waterfalls on our cruise through the Sound. Below are just a few!
At one point during our time on the Sound, the Captain turned off the boat’s engines and we enjoyed several minutes of silence. It was incredible.
It was an overcast day but the views were astounding!
We traveled along and saw where some seals were resting near Doubtful Sound’s opening into the Tasman Sea.
We returned to the bus when finished with our exploration of Doubtful Sound. Our bus driver had to maneuver around work crews clearing where they have had a landslide of boulders as we go across Wilmot Pass.
We stopped at the top of the Pass at a lookout area to view one last time Doubtful Sound.
Along our bus ride you could see some snow in the mountains!
When we got back to Lake Manapouri, we boarded the boat again to cross the lake.
After crossing the lake we boarded our coach for our ride to Queenstown which is located by Lake Wakatipu.
This evening we had dinner at the restaurant atop Bob’s Peak. We rode a gondola car up to the top of Bob’s Peak.
We had spectacular views of Coronet Peak, The Remarkables mountain range, and Queenstown.
We sat on our balcony and watched a glorious sunset!