LamandEgg on Walkabout! travel blog


The skies were overcast this morning as we left our dock on Lake Manapouri. We got beat onto the boat by a busload and ended up having to sit right at the front, with our backs to the window. No matter, the clouds shrouded the mountain tops and we got chatting with a couple from Maui. This first boat ride was pretty short, and we were met on the other side of the lake by a coach, which would take us over the pass to Doubtful Sound.

As the bus wound its way up the pass, we were treated to views of spectacular waterfalls, tall silver ferns, and moss covered boulders on the side of the road. Typically, it rains 2 out of 3 days in this region, and you would believe it too if you saw the thick layer of moss growing everywhere!! It's definately a neat ecosystem here!!!

When we got to the top of the pass, we caught our first glimpse of Doubtful Sound and there wasn't a cloud in the sky!!!! It was breathtaking! We were all on such a high as we got onto the boat!!

We got a great spot inside on the main deck, right upfront, which gave us a great view. As the wind died down, we spent more time out on the main deck. It was incredible to see sheer rock walls coming out of the water --no slope, just a sheer rock face towering for several hundred feet before sloping to form a peak. The water was very calm and still.

Just when you thought things couldn't get better, the resident pod of Bottlenose Dolphins was spotted just off the left side of the boat. We over to them, staying a safe distance away. They eventually got curious enough and swam over to check us out!! After some time, the captain started to pull the boat away and the dolphins jumped and flipped on the crest of our waves!!! TOO COOL!!!! It was the first time either of us had seen dolphins this close to us in a boat and to see them do flips was just awesome!!

When we got out of the Sound, we saw fur seals and a few pups playing in the pools by the rocks. On our way back to shore at the end of the cruise, we saw yellow crested penguins!! These guys are just a little bigger than the blue penguins. They waddled out from under the trees, surveyed the route down to the water, and tried to make their way down. One slipped and slid down the rocks while the other one watched. He took one look and went the long way around. It was so funny!!!

What a treat we had today!!!!



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