To The Fjords and an overnight trip to Doubtful Sound. So named because Captain Cook was doubtful he'd get his ship through it, and chosen by us over Milford Sound as it's less visited, quieter and ten times the size of the more popular Milford Sound.
We witnessed the fjord (as it should be named as it was formed by a Glacier) in all conditions. We crosssed lake Manapouri on a ferry and traversed the Wilmott Pass by coach, stopping at beautiful waterfalls and views of The Fjords on the way, before boarding The Fjordland Navigator, our home for the next 24 hours.
Our journey started in drizzle, which was no surprise in an area that averages 8 metres of rain a year! The fiord was very forboding, with cliffs emerging out of the mist and low cloud floating above us. We ventured into a smaller boat and kayaks to look at the nature closer to shore with raincoats and gloves!
Towards the end of this the sun did come out, and by the time we reached to ocean we were rewarded with the clearest, most colourful rainbow we and the crew had ever seen.
We also sailed past a seal colony, some blue penguins swimming (the second most rare penguin the world) and many native birds along the way.
We were treated to afternoon tea when we arrived, hot soup after our boat trips (much needed after Dave also swam) and a 3 course buffet in the evening overlooking the most beautiful sunset.
After dinner our guide gave a talk and slide show on the native birds and pests (the stoat which the New Zealander's also introduced to control rabbits) and on Sancuary Island which houses rare and endangered native birds like the kiwi. We were then more than ready for our cabins which were certainly cosy!
The next morning we were woken early by the ship raising its anchor and setting off at 6.30am. Breakfast was served (amazing) and Sophia and Jake got stuck into some board games they'd found the day before.
We were so lucky to wake up to a 'blue-bird' day. Not a cloud in the sky and we headed on deck to hear the commentary on flora and fauna which was fascinating. It was also a chilly 4 degrees so we didn't stay out for long! We were able to join the captain on the bridge at any time which was a much warmer place to see the scenery!
They insisted we have a 10 minute silence out on deck as we got to the end of one of the fiord arms to listen to the silence, which was filled only by birdsong and the sound of waterfalls. To be forced into taking stock of the amazing surroundings was a real treat and even Jake managed to stay quiet and relatively still for that time. It really was a magical trip by Real Journeys and their staff.