Today I had a real indulgence, a cruise on Doubtful Sound. Friends told me it was a highlight of their South Island roadie, which gave me the idea of doing it. I rang to book, did a 'gulp' at the price, and booked anyhow.
Last night's weather was a bit miserable, with lots of cold wind. But I woke this morning to find that though there was cloud and wind still around, you could see more of the mountains, and the sun was appearing. So I proceeded to the Real Journeys jetty with hope in my heart!
This was an adventure in three parts- first a boat ride across Manapouri, then a bus ride across Wilmott Pass, before a cruise on Doubtful Sound. The boats and bus were absolutely gleaming. Before long we were off!
Going across Lake Manapouri we saw lots of little islands, many with rounded tops. These date from ice age times when a thick layer of ice was grinding its way over these tough rocks.
We were told about the campaign to save Lake Manapouri from bring dammed and raised. I remember this being a hot issue in my childhood and early teens, but I had no idea what was at stake. So many beautiful features of this lake would have been drowned. Thank goodness people protested so strongly, and this became an election issue.
The views were exquisite the whole time. It's hard to choose what to show you!
After the first rapid boat ride came the bus ride. Everything was well organised, the staff were superb, and it all worked seamlessly.