18 November - Left Riverton about 9am to go to Te Anau, which is in Fiordland on the West Coast. We first stopped to see some trees that had almost been blown over due to the really strong south winds. Then it was onto McCrackens Rest - one of the guys on the bus got his arse out to sit on the sign! Next was the oldest bridge in NZ - the Clifden Suspension Bridge - Clifton's is so much better! We then reached Lake Manapouri, one of the southern lakes. I've seen pictures of it and it looks so beautiful, but typically the weather was crap so I didn't get that good a few. Then it was a short drive to Te Anau. I was the only one from the bus staying at the YHA. I'm in an 8 bed female dorn - I don't really like staying in a room with that many people cos at least one is guarenteed to snore etc. At 2.30pm was booked to go on the Luxmore Jet. The ride was on the Waiau river which runs between Lake Te Anau and Lake Manapouri. There were 4 other people on the boat plus the driver. I felt like I had walked into an oap convention. One couple were celebrating their golden wedding anniversary that day. The old man from the other couple was a senator from Malaysia. It was a good trip down the river - the water was really clear and it places was a lovely green colour. We could see really big trout in there. Unfortunately it was still really overcast, so we didn't get a clear few of the surrounding mountains, but it was still really nice scenery. Part of this river was used as the River Anduin where the fellowship paddled. The driver also pointed out 2 sticks sticking out of the water that he said were also featured in the first film - I'll have to watch it and see if I can spot them! When we got to Lake Manapouri there was a sea plane waiting for us as the golden wedding couple were going to fly back to Te Anau. So they transfered over in the middle of the lake, and the plane took off. We tried to drag race the plane for a bit whilst it was taking off, but it won by a mile. We then headed back to Lake Te Anau. The driver went quite fast and did a lot of spins on the way. It was really nice being on the river.