23 July 2013

Wild [Fiordland, New Zealand]

In March of this year (yes, I know it's taken me six months to post this!) I joined a group of family and friends on a six day trip in the untouched and wild Fiordland.

The occasion? My brothers 40th birthday.
The location? the deep South West Coast of New Zealand.
One of the most remote and untouched places in the country.
The transport? A massive boat.
The crew? A randomly connected bunch of family and friends, all intent on having a good time.

We started our trip early one glorious day in Queenstown. All 18 of us piled in to two minivans and drove across to Te Anau to meet the a helicopter, which would drop us into Fiordland.

I'm not sure I've made it clear just how remote this part of NZ is. The first clue is we had to take a helicopter to get in there! It is some of the most wild country in New Zealand. Huge mountains surround insanely deep fiords, all covered dense native forest. Flat ground is extremely rare. It's uninhabitable nature has kept this piece of NZ pristine and untouched, resisting human influence.

I have also not made clear the size of the boat we were travelling on. There were 18 of us plus three crew, and while it was not spacious, I did not feel cramped. Just to give you an idea - the boat has a heli-pad, so the helicopter dropped us directly on to the deck of the boat. Bawlin'

Our voyage started in Deep Cove, located in one of the arms of Doubtful Sound. We spent the following six days taking in the breath-taking scenery, exploring the sounds, fishing, diving, relaxing, and eating more seafood than I have in my entire life!

I want to make a quick mention of the fishing/diving. As the area is so remote, the sea is full of life! With some of the largest crayfish I've ever seen. We ate all kinds of fish, mussels and paua. We saw wild seals, dolphins and albatross (huge seagulls). I did two dives - one on a 100m long ship wreck, the other collecting seafood.

The whole thing was spectacular! I think I'll let the photos do the talking from here on...

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