Sometimes, when you reach a place you have to pinch yourself to realise that it actually exists. Doubtful Sound undoubtedly (no pun intended) is one of them.
Doubtful Sound was discovered by Captain Cook in 1770. Thankfully it is still remains amongst the most isolated places in the world.
Sea drowned by fresh water!
It’s probably the only place in the world where the sea is covered by several feet of fresh water. It rains almost 200 days in a year here. As a result the fresh water layer collects on top of the sea giving it a unique colour and sea life. Because the fresh water is darkened by the algae washed off the mountains, the fresh water layer effectively blocks off the sunlight. Hence deep sea plants and fishes grow in shallow waters making it a unique spot for divers!
The mountain slopes have tree-slides!
I had never heard of this phenomenon until I reached this isolated part of the world. Underneath the deeply forested mountain side lie a layer of hard rocks formed as the fiords were being carved. On top of this rocky layer due to the high moisture content moss and lichens form a thick base. As their roots intertwine a base is created for other plants to grow. This network of roots forms a base that supports fully grown trees that can reach heights upto 15-20 meters. Until the time comes when the trees grow so heavy that the web of the roots are unable to support their weight causing a tree fall. It looks like a tear of wall paper on the sides of the mountains as you sail along. Never seen anything like this before!
Living under a canopy of jewels
The best way to enjoy this ethereal place is to take an overnight cruise. The deck of the overnight cruise make a fantastic stage for the billions of stars to sequence a dream. I have never seen more stars in my life. Galaxies on display and a local astronomer on board making us see stars like never before. I learnt that most parts of the earth today, the visibility of the night sky is impaired due to the rising pollution levels as well as the lights of our civilisation. It’s a pity. I am glad that places still exist on earth that remind us that we are a spec in the vast expanse of the universe.
The dolphins here enjoy human company and are frequently around regaling the wide eyed tourists with their antics. The fresh mountain air and the beautiful setting add to the permanent state of bliss that envelopes you.
Add this to your bucket list. Doubtful Sound, South Island, New Zealand. A place where Mother Nature meets Father Time under a canopy of stars and paints a picture of beauty that only a few will doubt. Sounds good? Pack your bags…