Queenstown & Fiordland adventures - Wednesday, January 15, 2003

We continued driving until we found sunshine in a budding town called Wanaka. After a spectacular sunset and good dinner, we continued to one of the best known adventure capitals in the world - Queenstown. Bungy jumping, jetboating, paragliding, skydiving, mountain biking, river surfing and whitewater rafting can all be found in Qtown. We actually spent the night on the side of a residential street on the outskirts of Qtown. Nothing beats a planned community for views, quietness, and security. After refilling our "chilly bin" w/ice and groceries, we moved through this extremely touristy town before heading to Fiordland in hopees of finding peaceful hiking.

We were rewarded with great weather as we pulled into the town of Manapouri, set along the shores of the same name. It's incredible how we keep finding holiday parks in idyllic settings. Our holiday park resembled a small Bavarian village complete with Alpine Chalet style cabins and large graveyard showcasing Mini-Morris' cars of all shapes and sizes.

Our camping neighbor was a young German named Patrick who was cycling around NZ. He had excellent weather karma for his trip, so perhaps we have Patrick to thank for the amazing weather we experienced on our boat cruise through the Doubtful Sound. The day began with a cruise across Lake Manapouri disembarking at the famous Power Station.

Our bus driver and nature guide Ian kept us well informed on our 45 minute drive throught the bush to the Doubtful Sound. The road we were driving on was the most expensive ever built in NZ to the cost of $5/inch and the road was ~ 10 miles long. It took two years to tackle the tough terrain. Fiordland National Park is filled primarily with Beech trees that are able to grow at any angle even 90 degrees by taking root in the moss growing in the granite/rock mountains. They not only have snow avalanches in these parts, but tree avalanches. Continuing onto the Sound our boat took us in to the nooks and crannies of the Sound to explore the sights, sounds and wildlife of the area.

We were fortunate to see a pod of dolphins who followed the boat around for a while and even did a Flipper jump into the air to show off. What a great trip with the fantastic scenery and views of this untouched area of the world.

Previous Posts: 

Monthly Archives: 

Copyright © 2002- www.theharalsons.com