It’s the unpolished diamond of Fiordland National Park. It’s the soul of Mother Nature. It’s the most magical place on earth: Doubtful Sound. I’m in the heart of Doubtful Sound and I’ve never been to a place as mysterious as this one. During a trip through New Zealand almost everyone visits the world famous Milford Sound and forgets about Doubtful. And lucky as I am, because where hundreds – or even thousands – of people are visiting Milford at the moment, I’m here with just ten other people sailing on the waters of Doubtful. Away from the habited world. Isolated by the mountains. And in the middle of a beautiful scene.
The overnight cruise takes about 24 hours so yeah, you’ll need to take the time for it. And yeah, it ís expensive. But the experience is absolutely unforgettable. For a whole day you’ll be in a world of serenity. In a world where you are, somehow, in touch with Mother Nature. And in a world where you learn more about New Zealand than during all the other days of your time in this magical country. Doubtful Sound is definitely worth the consideration. Why? I’ll tell you my story and you’ll know.
Waterfalls, rain and seals
The trip to this hidden treasure starts with a short boat trip. With hundreds of other tourists you’ll get on a boat which leads you to a Visitors Centre on another island. This boat ride is not that exciting, it’s just a small impression of what you’ll see the next 24 hours. When you arrive at the Visitors Centre all tourists go the same way: to the big busses. But you’ll go the other way, saying goodbye to the habited world. Together with a few other people you’ll get on a small bus. And this is your family for the next 24 hours, so take it or leave it. The bus leads you to your boat where you first get a glass of champagne. Cheers to that, the adventure has begun!
My story. It’s a rainy day and the mountains that rise out of the water are all covered in a blanket of fog. For a second I’m not happy about it, but then I realize that thís is exactly what you want. The rain is responsible for insane waterfalls and the mist makes the view as mysterious as it is. So I decide to enjoy this adventure as much as I can. In the rain. With the sound of waterfalls that thunder into the sea. I already love this place.
We are passing a concatenation of rocks and mountains and they all look magnificent. And I’m just standing here. Staring at this view. This breathtaking view. And we also see some seals… the adventure is getting better and better.
Fishing and kayaking
But then it’s time for something else. It’s time to get some fish. Fresh fish out of the sea. Yay! We all throw a fishing rod in the water, hoping for the best. Apparently I’m not a good fishergirl, but the other guys are. They even catch a shark. A FREAKIN’ SHARK! Unfortunately he is too heavy to lift him up, but wow, thát is just an once in a lifetime experience. And to make sure we all have a great dinner tonight, one of our guides dives into the sea to get some cray fishes and some hedgehogs. The government allows the guides to grab seven cray fishes a day, so that’s all we’ve got. But it’s more than enough I guess.
Our captain looks for a nice spot where we can stay for the night. It’s not that hard to find a good spot: we are the only ones here and the environment is just spectacular, no matter where we are. So he stops somewhere in an inlet. And then it’s time to get even closer to the water, with a kayak. We all have our own kayak and everyone is going their own way.
I’m here. All by myself. Looking at the huge mountains. And the fog around it. It’s just overwhelming. So serene. So calm. I feel like I’m in a fairytale right now. The view is sensational: so raw and dramatic. I could stay here for hours. Alone. With rugged peaks, hidden inlets and waterfalls that thunder into the sea.
Best dinner EVER
But unfortunately I can’t stay here for hours. So I’m heading back to the boat. Our private chef is cooking and we’re almost ready for dinner. But first we drink a glass of wine, all together. Toasting on this great adventure. And then the food comes. Not one, not two, not three, not four, but FIVE courses. In a restaurant you probably need to pay hundreds of dollars for this dinner, but here… it’s just for free. And fresh. Super fresh. Definitely one of the best meals I’ve ever got. And to make this moment even more better, our captain is telling the best stories about New Zealand. About the history, the animals, the people and, of course, about the beautiful nature and about Doubtful Sound. Love it. Now it’s time to sleep.
The next morning
The rain has stopped, the fog is gone, the mountains look even bigger and the waterfalls are even more prettier. This is a good morning. A very good morning. Our fantasy just became real. The sun is shining on the rocks, on the water and on our faces.. One moment it’s so mysterious, the next moment it’s a green, sunny, happy place. You definitely should experience it yourself. Immerse yourself into the unspoilt wilderniss of Fiordland National Park!
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