International students explore Doubtful Sound

Friday 16th June 2017

At 6 O’clock in the morning of 19th of May, Mr. Mountain picked me and eight other students up from our hostel and homestays and started driving us to Lake Manapouri. 

The sky was dark so Mr. Mountain was driving carefully. The weather was wild and stormy with strong winds, heavy rain and snow on the hills. We went through Gore, then onwards towards Te Anau. 

We arrived at Lake Manapouri just before midday and caught the boat to Wilmot Pass. Once we were on the other side of Lake Manapouri, we got onto another bus that went over the pass. Forty minutes later we arrived at the ship which was to be our home for the next 24 hours. We were welcomed by the crew and shown to our cabins. We were then served hot soup as we departed for the cruise. 

Galeforce winds buffeted the boat and horizontal rain stung our faces but the experience was exhilarating, as we stood at the front of the ship riding the 2-meter swells. Once we were out in the open sea, we turned around and looked for somewhere with some calm waters to go kayaking and nature watching. We found some calm waters and went for a twilight kayak and nature watch on the aluminium tender craft. I went kayaking with Daniel Shen and Michael Sun. It was awesome!! 

After a hot shower, we sat down to a buffet dinner. What an amazing meal!! We had a big salad bar to choose from, all sorts of different vegetables, as well as a selection of roast meats and seafood to choose from. I ate so much and some boys went back for seconds and thirds!! Next, was cheeseboards and deserts, again they were very delicious. 

For the rest of the evening, we played cards, board games, and took pictures of the stars. The sky was so clear!! Then it started snowing. The next morning I woke up and I was really surprised that it was snowy outside. Onward we sailed, we saw many beautiful waterfalls, and the calm sea made us more comfortable than yesterday. We saw some half snow covered mountains and there were Kea’s flying above us. It was very peaceful and beautiful. 

We had a big buffet breakfast and then sailed back to port where we left the boat, got on the busses and drove up over Wilmot Pass.  At the top, there was about a foot of snow. We had a great snowball fight and took some photos. 

Finally, we boarded the boat that took us back across Lake Manapouri. We had fish and chips in Te Anau and then started our drive back to Dunedin. I would recommend this trip to anyone as we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. By Roy Feng