This morning I walked out to the road from our room and took this photo of the mountain across Lake Te Anau. It looked like it was going to be a good day.
We were picked up at about 9:15 for our trip to Doubtful Sound.
There is no direct road access so we took a bus to Manapouri and cruised across Lake Manapouri
We arrived at the Manapouri Hydro Station. It is the largest hydroelectric power station in New Zealand and the second largest power station in NZ. It could supply enough energy to power all of the south island, but 80% of it is used to supply electricity to the Tawai Point Aluminum Smelter near Bluff. This photo shows a small fraction of the station. The rest of it is below the water level. It is an absolute engineering feat.
Then we rode in a bus over the Wilmot Pass. This pass was built to aid in the construction of the Manapouri Power Station. It took 2 years for the road to be carved out of the mountain and bush (from 1963 – 1965). It is one of the few roads that traverses Fiordland National Park. It was New Zealand’s most expensive road. We stopped to see this view.
We crossed this water. The driver told us that there have been times when the water level is so high that the road is just washed out.
When descended this very curvy, and very steep road , you could hear the gears system and/or the brakes working hard.
We arrived at Deep Cove in Doubtful Sound and boarded our boat for the 3-hour cruise out to the sea. There were some kayakers on the water. That sure looked like fun.
I didn’t hear much of the information that was being told to us on the boat because I wanted to be out side most of the time. The weather was mostly cloudy and the mountains were mystical and ethereal. Here are my photos from today.
Sometimes it was very windy.
Maaika is a woman from the Netherlands that I met on the bus. She is traveling around New Zealand in a van. We had fun taking photos together and she suggested that we do a selfie so we can remember each other.
I loved the clouds in the mountains.
Panoramas were difficult to take as the boat was moving, but I tried anyway.
Capturing the feeling with a camera is just not possible.
When we got close to the sea, we saw some New Zealand Sea Lions.
I loved the little islands in the water.
If you look very closely at this photo, you can see the Fiordland Crested Penguin to the left of the rock with the yellow striped markings.
Another attempt at a panoramic photo.
… and another island.
This one has a lone tree trying to make it. I think there may be 2 other very small ones too.
I just couldn’t resist the attempt at the panoramas because it is so hard to capture the beauty of this place.
Here I am by the last waterfall that we passed on the way back.
It was a great day. We went out for pizza and I tried Hokey Pokey ice-cream (vanilla with toffee chunks) with chocolate sauce for dessert. My daughter told me that you can only get this flavor in New Zealand. After dinner Jan and I took a walk by Lake Te Anua. It was very peaceful and the sunset was nice to see.
We walked until after dark. We met a man from Christchurch on our hike. We were talking about the earthquake we had experienced. He told us that people in Christchurch don’t even get up from their desks during an earthquake unless is at least a 5.5 or more. They are so used to them happening.
Tomorrow we are going to hike on the Kepler Track in this area. I could have taken another cruise on the Milford Sound, but it would be over 5 hours in a bus for the 2 1/2 hour cruise. So I will miss the Milford Sound on this trip and I am really sorry about that. It just didn’t make sense to do that.