Doubtful Times and Doubtful Sound – Part 1

“A Mish a Day” #219 (Part 1) Doubtful Times and Doubtful Sound. Christchurch to Patea/Doubtful Sound. Fiordland National Park. 16.3.2020. When I picked myself up off the galley floor after the chiller door wiped me out I never thought that I would still be suffering from it eleven months later. At the start of the 2019/2020 Fiordland Navigator season my parents Julie Wilson and Jeremy Wilson  purchased tickets for the overnight trip in Patea/Doubtful Sound, and the trip was scheduled for March 20th 2020.

With the reality of not being back at work when my parents visit setting in, I decided to head up to Christchurch, join them on the journey down to Southland, and then go on the Doubtful Sound overnight cruise as a passenger. As I travelled to Christchurch the world was rapidly changing with the outbreak of the Covid-19, and little did we know how much the virus was going to change the lives of every single human being on earth. With ‘Developing News’ on the radio the soundtrack for the drive, we began to travel south via the inland route. The tourism landscape was changing by the minute as we pulled into our hotel unit in Queenstown, and the popular tourist town already seemed quiet. An early-ish start the next day had us wandering through the town, and then booking a trip across the lake on the TSS Earnslaw for lunch at Walter Peak Station. On the trip across we could hear the whispers amongst the foregin passengers, all talking about the worldwide issues with Covid-19, and what to do next? Lunch was outstanding, and the weather was too. While in Queenstown I took the opportunity to catch up with some mates, and everyone was wondering what was going to happen to Queenstown?

Lake Wakatipu & the TSS Earnslaw

With a day up our sleeve we drove alongside Lake Wakatipu in the direction of Glenorchy. We stopped to check out the view at Bennetts Bluff, and there was only one other car at the normally busy little roadside car park. As per normal, Glenorchy was an excellent place to escape the crazy going on around the world, and enjoy some truly epic views. A stop in at Wilson’s Bay was a must on our trip back to Queenstown, and after getting back to the hotel unit we began to get ready to leave early-ish the next day. The next part of the adventure was to drive to my house in Te Anau. Having two useful bodies staying at my house meant I could put them to use in the garden, and I helped as best I could without putting too much stress on my injury. After a night in Te Anau we took in the fantastic scenery on the way to Manapouri, and the start of the overnight cruise in Patea/Doubtful Sound…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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