Yesterday, we took a short cruise with Real Journeys across Lake Manapouri then a coach trip on the remote sub-alpine route over Wilmot Pass and into Doubtful Sound where we docked overnight on the Fiordland Navigator.
We saw bottlenose dolphins playing and feeding in the peaceful water and paused to watch fur seals bask on the rocks. Penguins made a brief appearance too, but were failed to photo them. This is a very peaceful and beautiful place – you can see from the photo why it gets called Shadowland.
There is no soil here – the forest grows entirely on the moss which retains the very high rainfall enjoyed in Fiordland. The trees intertwine their roots to support each other. Occasionally though, there is a tree avalanche – because the trees are all intertwined, when one starts to collapse, it drags many others with it. It takes twenty years or more for the forest to re-generate. You could see all the various stages of this re-generation in Doubtful Sound.
The sound of silence – the boat turned off its engines and everyone kept a complete silence for five minutes – blissful.
Sandflies – there were lots of them here. Thankfully no bites … yet … thanks to copious use of insect repellants of a variety of makes!)