Doubtful Sound

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Doubtful Sound: Our most recommended tours and activities

Fiordland National Park: Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise

1. Fiordland National Park: Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise

Spend a day in the remote wilderness of Doubtful Sound, located in the heart of Fiordland National Park and three times longer than Milford Sound. Self-drive to Manapouri and board a cruise across picturesque Lake Manapouri, followed by a coach trip across Wilmot Pass. Stop en-route to experience the dense Fiordland rainforest. At Deep Cove, board the Patea Explorer, a purpose-built catamaran, for a 2 hour and 45-minute cruise on Doubtful Sound. See waterfalls, rainforest and mountains during the cruise. You might spot the resident pod of bottlenose dolphins, the colony of fur seals at the mouth of the fiord, or even rare Fiordland crested penguins. During the cruise, knowledgeable nature guides will provide informative commentary.  When it rains in Fiordland, the landscape is dramatic - rock faces stream with waterfalls, mist hangs around the tops of the mountains, and rivers and streams rage.  From a dry comfortable vantage point on board the coach or vessel this landscape is spectacular. Always be prepared to enjoy some rainfall during your visit. Many say you have not seen Fiordland unless you have seen it in the rain!

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From Queenstown: Premium Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Trip

2. From Queenstown: Premium Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Trip

Visit Doubtful Sound on a full-day trip from Queenstown. You will 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 friendly driver. From Manapouri, you will 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, you will climb aboard a modern catamaran for a 2.75-hour cruise, exploring the waterways of this serene and isolated fiord. See waterfalls, rainforest, mountains, and wildlife. Your knowledgeable nature guides will provide you with engaging and informative commentary throughout. You will 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 you may purchase snacks on board in the vessel’s cafes. If you would like to preorder a picnic lunch, you may contact the local partner 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.

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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.

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Doubtful Sound: Scenic Flight with 2 Landings

4. 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.

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From Te Anau: Scenic Flight to Doubtful and Milford Sound

5. 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.

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Queenstown: Scenic flight & Cruise in Doubtful Sound

6. Queenstown: Scenic flight & Cruise in Doubtful Sound

On this full-day tour from Queenstown you will explore the beauty of Doubtful Sound, an ideal destination for travelers wanting a true New Zealand experience away from the crowds. This outstanding scenic tour includes flights between Queenstown and Manapouri, making this journey much more manageable for families compared to the slower alternative by coach. This tour of Doubtful Sound offers a wonderful opportunity for travelers who have already visited Milford Sound and want to explore more of this unique New Zealand environment. This tour is also an ideal wet weather option if Milford Sound is closed due to inclement weather because the flight to Doubtful Sound is not as weather dependent as the flight to Milford Sound. Following the glorious scenic flight, you will connect to a cruise departing from Pearl Harbor on Lake Manapouri. At the head of the lake is New Zealand's largest hydro-electric power station, which was first completed in 1971 and considered a feat of engineering in New Zealand history.  Next on the tour is a coach journey across Wilmot Pass down to Deep Cove. A catamaran boat will then whisk you to the head of Doubtful Sound, where you will be inspired by the area rich in flora and fauna. At 421 meters deep, Doubtful Sound is the deepest of the fiords in the area, and is long and winding with 3 distinct “arms”. On this scenic excursion you can look out for New Zealand fur seals and the Fiordland Crested Penguin on the many small islets at the entrance of the fiord during the Penguin breeding season.

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Te Anau: Flight over Dusky and Doubtful Sound

7. Te Anau: Flight over Dusky and Doubtful Sound

Enjoy a local flight from the township of Te Anau to Doubtful and Dusky Sound. Fly with an experienced local pilot who will conduct an informative commentary throughout the flight. Embark on the ultimate Fiordland experience where you see over 250 islands. Experience stunning, unspoiled scenery in its most dramatic form. With a flawless safety record, your safety and comfort are taken seriously. The company operates in accordance with strict Civil Aviation New Zealand Rules.

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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 125 reviews

This was one of the best days of our Holiday! The scenery In Doubtful sounds was breath taking it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. We ventured out to the ocean and managed to see a whale. The humpback was playful and kept jumping out of the water for us. The guides where very knowledgable and the information they shared was interesting. The only negative is their Te Reo Maori pronunciation was very poor. Overall it was such an AMAZING DAY!

The scenery in our national park is amazing and the staff and guides really know there stuff with good old kiwi hospitality thrown in.loved every second of it and would highly recommend the trip

A wonderful experience seeing Kiwi hospitality at its best and the most beautiful South Island scenery. great value for money. Enjoyed every minute. thanks.

Totally magical experience go when it’s raining (which is often) and get wet just beautiful!

Wonderful views, knowledgeable commentary. Highly recommend!