Doubtful Delivers – Lucky Kids

“On a Mish” #277 Lucky Kids. Deep Cove, Patea / Doubtful Sound. Fiordland National Park. 14.5.2021. If you’re having a blast and getting paid for it you must have done something right! On many occasions I have had to pinch myself, as I have been in that awesome position. For nearly 15 years I have been doing jobs where basically the main role is to point at incredible scenery and say “look at that”. A massive bonus to working in the heart of New Zealand’s pretty places has meant I have had more than my fair share of epic office views. From a wind free, cloudless day high in the mountains, to violent storms rolling in from the Tasman Sea before unleashing their fury on the Fiordland coast. It has been a hell of a ride so far, and I can’t wait to see the epicness that I’m sure the future will produce…

Landing the role of ‘Nature Guide’ for the Deep Cove School Camps has been an absolute treat. Passing on what I have learned is very rewarding and I hope to see some of the li’l fellas in the tourism industry one day. A collection of circumstances had led to weeks passing before I got to go back to Deep Cove, and when I saw a school camp on my roster I fist pumped the air in approval. The weather was a real mixed bag and hopefully if the forecast is right, we will have the perfect mix. I often get odd looks when I tell people that Fiordland is just as good, if not better in heavy rain. Waterfalls appear as if it was the work of magic, and when the rain stops so do the waterfalls. The fact that the falls disappear so quickly means to get the full experience you need to be there when the skies have opened and the rain is thundering down. As I crossed Lake Manapouri the skies darkened above the boat. After chatting with a few of the customers I found out that they were much the same as the recent visitors to the Glowworm Caves, Kiwis out to see the corners of Aotearoa they have always been planning to get to but never got around to (one of the few positives of the testing times we currently live in). I got dropped off in Deep Cove, and from here it was nature guide mode. The group was from Terrace School in Central Otago, and they had just got back from the demanding Hanging Valley Track. After introducing myself we got straight into water science, my roll in the afternoon rotations. By the last group it was late afternoon and the rain had arrived in Deep Cove. Heavy rain banged on the roof like a drum all night long, and after telling the kids that we might see more waterfalls in the morning, I hoped that it lasted the night.

Early-ish the next morning it was still raining, but this cleared with the rising sun. Many new waterfalls had appeared and many times I heard the screams of approval at the new additions to the already stunning area. We next went on a three hour cruise around the fiord, and for this I did the commentary. Sun, mist and even some more heavy rain made the adventure around Patea / Doubtful Sound one to remember, and we even made it out to the Tasman Sea after some expert tacking by the vessel’s skilled skipper. We returned to Deep Cove, and it was now time to say goodbye to my new friends. Another amazing experience, and yes I was getting paid to do it! I hope some of my enthusiasm has rubbed off on some of the youngsters, and one day I hope to bump into some of them as they are enjoying the incredible benefits of a job in New Zealand tourism like me!

Helena Falls from Brassell Point

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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