Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound are both supposed to be very nice sceneries to see as (long) day trips from Queenstown. While we did hike the milford track, we didn't have enough time on our day back to see the area when we hiked out, which was a bit disappointing.
However our trip to doubtful sound would make up for it. Thankfully our agent, Penny, booked us on a combo tour where we flew to Manapouri to avoid a long bus ride, but we still took a van to a plane to a bus to a boat to a bus to a boat (the destination) to a bus to a boat to a bus to a plane and to a van :) (doubtful sound is indeed remote, and you need to take a boat across a lake to a bus across a peak that takes you to the final boat where you cruise around doubtful sound up to the ocean.|
It was pretty, but that was a lot of travelling, and would have been even worse if we had not flown and taken another bus ride that was about 2H each way. We also kind of prefer to set foot on land and see local anmimals/birds when possible, but it just wasn't practical there.
Anywway, here are the pictures:
very weird slide, maybe the ground collapsed somehow?
all the cool critters you can't really see from the boat :)
it would have been nice to see a Kakapo, the world's biggest parrot
all those pictures are there to trick you, kiwi aren't out during the day
their feet are huge :)
The boat took us to a bus to cross to the other (lower) lake, where we took a bus to get us to the 2nd body of water that reaches the ocean. Between the 2 there is a big tunnel to funnel water down from the top lake and it acts as a electricity dam without being visible and ruining the view:
Finally we got to our last boat, to do the actual cruise of doubtful sound:
the engine air vents on the bus were cute :)
I guess you can see the area from a cruise ship too :)
it's impressive that the trees can grow in such steep slopes
they have the longest species of dolphins, but we only saw them from far
After finishing doubtful sound, we did all the transports in reverse, boat to bus to boat to bus to plane to van back :)
tree line indeed...
back to Queenstown