Since Gordon and I had become pretty familiar with the town by this point, we served as tour guides. We still managed to pick a few places we had yet to go, and got to continue our local cuisine experience. We also showed off some of the local shops and gardens, since the weather cooperated pretty well.
The “sounds” (actually fjords) are a must-see in New Zealand. We had already visited Milford Sound, the most renowned, but had heard Doubtful Sound was just as beautiful, but possibly even better because it was less visited. So we booked a cruise with Real Journeys to Doubtful Sound.
We took a bus from Queenstown to Manapouri, during which our driver shared heaps of information. Unfortunately it was really early, so his calming voice just lulled me to sleep. From Manapouri, we boarded a ferry, which took us across Lake Manapouri to the location of the Manapouri Underground Power Station. We then transferred to another bus, which took us on a tour of the Underground Hydro Power Station, New Zealand’s greatest engineering feat. We traveled down a 2km (1.2 miles) spiral tunnel (we went in four complete circles heading downward) underground. In the tunnel, Gordon kept expecting to see Bane’s clan of thugs, whereas I was pretty sure we had entered Gringotts and were heading to Vault 713.
From there, we traveled along New Zealand’s most expensive road, at five cents per centimeter. This took us into the sound where we boarded yet another boat.
Doubtful Sound was fantastic. Parts were similar to Milford but they each have their own unique attributes. We had a lovely calm day, so we were able to travel out into the Tasman sea a bit, and even Brett, with his propensity for motion sickness, did just fine!
Other than skydiving, we hadn’t spent much time in Wanaka, even though it was just one winding road away from Queenstown. So we decided to check it out with the gang. I love puzzles, and before coming to New Zealand, I read about Puzzling World, so although I thought it might be cheesy, I decided that would be a good activity.