Traveling by boat across Lake Manapouri, we arrived in Fiordland National Park. We then boarded another boat that cruised us through the stunningly rugged Doubtful Sound. It was so majestic cruising past these massive mountains emerging from the water. There are hundreds of waterfalls that begin at the very top of the fiords and fall all the way down, with dozens of other waterfalls connecting and intersecting along the way. Doubtful Sound is known as the wettest place on Earth – obtaining 7-9 metres of rain per year!
So, needless to say it was a pretty rainy and wet day. The mist and the fog from the rain actually creates that magical, mystical, Lord of the Rings feel. At one point the captain shut off the engine and instructed no walking or talking so we could all hear the roaring of the waterfalls and observe the peacefulness of our surroundings. Some waterfalls were narrow while others were really big and wide. The captain steered the nose of the boat under a waterfall so people could fill paper cups of fresh fiord water. I thought it would be crystal clear like glacial water, but it had a yellow-tinge to it because of natural dye from all the leaves – just like tea.
A couple of dolphins were swimming around the boat perfectly in sync and there were also albatross birds circling and gliding overhead, mistaking us for a fishing boat.
After the sun set that night, we took a little walk to spot some glowworms. I had never seen glowworms ever in the wild before! They were so beautiful – some twinkly blue while others glowing white and green. They looked just like star constellations, all scattered and grouped in various formations and patterns.