Not wanting to be the same as every other tourist, we heard of Doubtful Sound, another ‘sound’ in the Fiordland, that is less busy, and promised to be just as, if not, more beautiful.
We of course wanted to do it in style, so arranged for a daytime cruise of the sound. Being picked up in Manapouri, you can only reach the sound on one road, so off we went. Our driver was great, and told us all about the surroundings and history of the Fiordland, the sound, the wildlife, and even the trees, which was all so interesting.
We soon understood the Maori name for Doubtful Sound, ‘Patea’, which translates to:
‘The place of silence’
It was emotionally beautiful. The kind of beautiful you don’t expect to even exist on this earth. This Sound is the deepest (421 metres) and second longest (40 kilometres) of the South Island’s fiords. It is such a powerful place – serene, mysterious and totally untouched by the modern world. We saw no other boats, and in between telling us about the scenery, wildlife and learning about the interesting history, our boat ‘skipper’ also encouraged silence, which we loved. Blanketed by the atmosphere around us, we had a few hours without phones, and allowed ourselves to enjoy and emerge ourselves in the experience.
If the day couldn’t get any better, something incredible happened. A rare pod of bottlenose Dolphins came to say hello – they stayed for a while, showing us there beauty, swimming around the boat, and giving us a show. The dolphin pod that inhabit the Doubtful Sound, are the world’s southernmost. The experience of seeing these incredible mammals here was so moving.
Michiel looking like the michelin man – it was the wind!
Towards the end of the Sound, we were also treated to seeing lots of seals, sunning themselves on the rocks.
It was time to say goodbye to the Sound, and what an experience. It was totally untouched and the most beautiful place. I almost didn’t want to blog about this place, to keep it a secret…
Goodbye Doubtful Sound.