Without a doubt the best end to the tour...
Trip Start Apr 09, 2010
23Trip End Sep 07, 2010
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To say that Doubtful Sound was stunning is an enormous understatement, we cruised around the waters in the silent surroundings hearing birds, spotting seals and looking out for the elusive penguins. The water was so still and we had such a clear and crisp day that the views were mirrored on the water - James was in heaven with his super-duper camera. We had a guide who was an expert on all things soundy - although apparently despite being called a Sound, it actually is not
Later on James and two mad American girls - one identical to Cameron Diaz, jumped off the back of the boat in to the freezing water. The whole experience lasted only about 10 seconds as they swam straight back in to the boat blue with cold, but they later assured us all that it was 'nice and refreshing'. Jen was disappointed to miss out on the jump in to the water but she had contracted the tour bus cold lurgy and thought hypothermia would not help it shift and to be honest she is probably too sensible anyway, if you are already wearing 4 layers it's not time to jump into icy water.
Dinner was served later and it was a feast, the food was amazing and as it was a buffet the tour group definitely got their money's worth, (as if the boat hadn't already guaranteed that!) James came back from the dessert table with a piece of everything going! We had a fun evening, it got better after we admitted defeat when playing Trivial Pursuit upon realising our general knowledge from the 1980's was pretty poor, given we only graced the last 3 years of it with our presence.
The next day took us down a quiet inlet of the Sound called Deep Cove where the water is incredibly still and so we took some brilliant photos as it is famously one of the most beautiful spots in New Zealand
The final leg of the tour took us to a ski lodge in Ohau where we stayed over and went star gazing in the clearest sky we had ever seen - we saw about 8 shooting stars, but no sign of the promised Southern Lights. The next day we travelled via Lake Pukaki and Lake Tekapo where we took countless amazing photos as the lakes are unbelievably blue and surrounded by mountains. We then went and visited a sheep farm where we were served tea and scones and treated to a shearing show. We got to hold baby lambs and saw the sheep dogs at work. We were each given a sheepdog whistle, unfortunately this included James whose constant whistling thereafter plagued the bus and Jen well in to future in the confines of the camper van....
The tour finished in style in Christchurch with a meal out with the guides and 'Neck' the bus driver, we all exchanged facebook details and went our separate ways, but it was defiantly a brilliant week and very well run tour. We were looking forward to getting our Camper Van the next day and starting our self-drive adventure!