Manapouri Travel Blog› entry 18 of 25 › view all entries
Fiordland is probably one of the places that makes New Zealand instantly recognisable to people all over the world. We had another amazing trip, definately one that that we will never forget!
We tried a week in advance to get an overnight boat trip on Doubtful Sound, which isn't as easily accessible as Milford, but is much bigger and certainly very different (not to mention there are far less tourists like ourselves on the waterways!). Unfortunately, we could only get a day trip, but as it turned-out a day trip was ample time for us to be taken around the beautiful sound and we managed to get a boat that only had another 17 people on compared to some of the others that have 70 or so clamering to take photos.
We were very fortunate to have completely dry and sunny weather (although they say that the sounds have amazing waterfalls when it is raining) and also to have seen the amazing performance of a pod of Bluenose (that's not to say that they are Birmingham City fans!) Dolphins.
They swam around the boat, the skipper started the engines up and said that very rarely they like to "catch a freewave" and follow the wake of the boat - amazingly, they did, jumping 6 or 7 feet in the air as we circled Crooked-Arm Creek - it was an amazing specticle and the dolphins seemed to enjoy it every bit as much as we did, doing acrobatics and swimming right alongside the boat.
The next day we drove to Milford Sound for an an afternoon trip up the Sound. It was a very different experience, a big organisation with a big boat, rather than the independant one we had travelled with on Doubtful Sound. Milford Sound is much shorter and heads straight-out to the Tasman Sea, rather than snaking around and having lots of other creeks and islands. It is also a lot steeper at the sides and in a way, it is more dramatic. We saw lots of seals and seabirds and beautiful wildlife and we would definately recommend taking the dramatic 2 hour drive up there and taking a boat trip, but it was always going to be very different from our amazing trip on Doubtful Sound the previous day.