Monday, Jan 25, 2016
It was overcast and drizzling at 7:30 am when we finished packing to go on our cruise to Doubtful Sound.
We were informed that it is best to take the cruise twice, once when it is raining so that you can see more waterfalls and once when it isn’t raining to see the landscape, which is hard to do because this is a rainforest area that gets 7 meters ( 22 feet ) of rain every year.
The docks were only 1 km away from the campsite, so it didn’t take long for us to get there.
We left the dock the dock in a double decker boat for the 45 minute ride across Manapouri Lake.
When we reached the other side we got off at the location of the hydro dam. This dam is mostly underground and it supplies enough power for the entire south island, however 80% of the power is used by an aluminum mine and 20% is used to help supply power for the island.
From the dock we took a 45 min bus ride to catch the boat for the start of our 4 hour fiord cruise to Doubtful Sound, the Tasman Sea and back again.
It rained the whole day, which gave us magnificent views of the many waterfalls that were created, through the mist of the rain. We were fortunate that it rained, because there were many more waterfalls than there normally would have been. Unfortunately, a camera can’t capture all that the eye can see.
At the mouth of the river to the Tasman Sea, we saw many sea lions resting on a large rock.
When we returned back to Manapouri it was 3 pm so we drove 15 km to Te Anau, where we found a campsite, purchased a plastic sheet, a canvas sheet and some rope at the local hardware store and then ate supper at the Redcliffe Restaurant. This restaurant had the highest rating in the area with TripAdvisor and it lived up to its reputation. I had the grouper special, which was delicious.
After dinner, we set up my tent with the plastic sheet under it and the canvas over it, to keep my tent dry from the rain.
The town is small and every thing is within walking distance. Once the tent was set up we went to the dock and checked in at 6:45 pm to go to the Glowworm caves. This consisted of a boat ride to the other side of Lake Te Anau. We had a tour of the caves, followed by a video presentation about the glowworms. The tour wasn’t very long and we were back at our campsite by 9:30 pm.
We went to the lounge area to check emails and work on our journals and at 11:30 pm, Cheryl headed back to the camper, while I continued working on my blog. The young couple sitting in the area, struck up a conversation with me and we spend almost an hour discussing their travels. They were from the UK and they were travelling around the world, working just enough in each country to pay for their needs. They had recently arrived from Vietnam where they had stayed for 8 months. They planned to work ( and play ) in New Zealand for another 8 months. I was impressed that a couple in their 20’s would undertake this type of adventure.
When the couple left, I completed my blog, went to my tent in the cool evening air at 12:30 am and was soon asleep.