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Doubtful Sound

Doubtful Sound: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Queenstown: Premium Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Trip

1. From Queenstown: Premium Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Trip

Visit Doubtful Sound on a full-day trip from Queenstown. Board a luxury bus and travel along the shores of Lake Wakatipu, through the rolling countryside to Manapouri. Enjoy informative commentary along the way from your driver. From Manapouri, cruise across the crystal waters of Lake Manapouri to West Arm. Then board a coach to cross the alpine route of the Wilmot Pass, through some of Fiordland National Park’s most dense rainforest. On reaching Deep Cove, climb aboard a modern catamaran for a 2.75-hour cruise, exploring the waterways of this serene and isolated fiord. See waterfalls, rainforests, mountains, and wildlife. Your knowledgeable nature guides will provide you with engaging and informative commentary throughout.  You'll be treated to the sound of silence when the vessel’s engines are turned off. Experience floating on the fiord, with only the rush of waterfalls and birdsong to break the silence. Bring your own lunch, or purchase snacks on board in the vessel’s cafes. If you would like to preorder a picnic lunch, feel free to contact the activity provider directly after booking. When it rains in Fiordland, the landscape is especially dramatic. The scenery is spectacular, and you will stay dry and comfortable from your vantage point on the catamaran. At the end of your cruise, return over Wilmot Pass by coach and cruise across Lake Manapouri before the bus journey back to Queenstown.

Doubtful Sound: Scenic Flight with 2 Landings

2. Doubtful Sound: Scenic Flight with 2 Landings

Experience the stunning Fiordland National Park from the sky. Soar high above the Iris Burn Valley and Lake Manapouri, also known as the "Lake of Many Islands". Spot the infamous West Arm Power Station on Lake Manapouri before flying up and over the Wilmot Pass into Doubtful Sound. This long and winding fiord is one of Fiordland’s deepest and is home to a number of stunning waterfalls. Your helicopter will detour into magical Campbell’s Kingdom, a beautiful hanging valley encompassing a lake and a waterfall. This is the stuff of fairytales. From here, take a peek at Bradshaw Sound before soaring over the Main Divide of the Southern Alps for a second remote landing at scenic Mount Kidd. Make sure you have the camera or phone well charged for this flight — you’ll want to revisit the scenes and landscapes you visit over and over again.

Te Anau: 40-Minute Doubtful Sound Scenic Seaplane Flight

3. Te Anau: 40-Minute Doubtful Sound Scenic Seaplane Flight

Take off from the Lakefront in Te Anau and explore the famous Doubtful Sound Fiordland in a way not many get the opportunity to do so aboard South Island New Zealand's only seaplane.  Fly with an experienced and personable local pilot who will conduct an informative commentary throughout your flight. Be able to listen and speak using your headset. Soar over the Doubtful Sound, which is known for being one of the deepest fiords and is long and winding with three distinct arms.  See breathtaking waterfalls and unspoiled scenery in its most dramatic form on a 40-minute flight with the upmost safety standards, operating in accordance with strict Civil Aviation New Zealand Rules.

From Te Anau: Scenic Flight to Doubtful and Milford Sound

4. From Te Anau: Scenic Flight to Doubtful and Milford Sound

Soar high above Lake Manapouri and deep into the heart of Doubtful Sound, also known as the "Sound of Silence" due to its remote location. The first landing is in Campbell’s Kingdom, a unique hanging valley suspended amidst mountains. See the picturesque valley that has its own waterfall and lake. From here, fly above several more fiords before arriving at Milford Sound and touring Fiordland’s most famous destination. A Milford Sound scenic flight is the best way to see all the fiord has to offer, as you will be amazed by the sheer granite cliffs and inky blue water. The second landing is at Lake Quill, high above Milford itself and is located at the head of the spectacular Sutherland Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in the Southern Hemisphere.

Other Sightseeing Options in Doubtful Sound

Want to discover all there is to do in Doubtful Sound? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Doubtful Sound

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 297 reviews

We had a fantastic day in Doubtful Sound - perfect weather with lots of sun and blue skies. We saw dolphins around the boat within thirty minutes of leaving the jetty (we were told that dolphin sightings can’t be guaranteed though) and when we reached the Tasman Sea, we saw seals. Even without the wildlife sightings the tour would’ve been great since the natural beauty of the fjord is just incredible. The nature guide on board added a lot of interesting and informative commentary. The 7 hour tour may seem long, but the hours fly by, since the trip is broken up into three parts (crossing Lake Manapouri, then the bus ride to the jetty - the actual Doubtful Sound Cruise is only 3 hours long). Both boats have comfortable sitting areas and a small snack bar on board (sandwiches, cakes, instant noodles, and other snacks, plus wine, beer, tea, coffee and sodas for sale) and the boat on Doubtful Sound even has a real espresso machine for perfect Flat Whites (much appreciate by me!)

This tour was outstanding. The operator was exceptionally well organised, the boats well maintained and the staff really friendly and knowledgeable. The weather was perfect and we enjoyed time on land lake and sea that included spectacular scenery and aquatic life. The tour exceeded our expectation and trumped a previous awesome day trip on Milford Sound.

Spectacular scenery. Bring rainwater as weather is variable. Camera or mobile phone to capture breathtaking views. Good organisation by Real NZ with the two cruises and bus trip through the Pass to Doubtful Sound. Interesting commentary and friendly staff.

We loved both boat cruises and the coach ride! Everything was very informative and doubtful sound is just beautiful! Don’t waste your time in Milford Sound, enjoy Doubtful. We booked the 7 a.m. tour and saw dolphins and fur seals. :D

This was a great day out, with amazing scenery and wildlife. All the crew were very helpful and knowledgeable. Would recommend from queenstown it is a long day so just be prepared