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Fiordland - Doubtful Sound

Doubtful Sound an unforgettable, breath-taking, remote, dazzling, must-see fiord in New Zealand’s wild southwest – at Doubtful Sound you are perfectly surrounded by untouched Mother Nature at its very best. Doubtful Sound is one of Fiordland’s two accessible fiords and is characterised by a large number of stunning branches, hidden inlets, picturesque islands, thundering waterfalls, vertical cliff faces and lush-mossy rainforest. Doubtful Sound’s main activities are scenic cruises, overnight cruises, kayaking, fishing and scenic flights. more

Doubtful Sound is perhaps the most inaccessible of New Zealand’s major attractions – apart from accessing the fiord via the sea – the only way to reach the fiord is by taking a cruise over the large and stunningly picturesque Lake Manipouri and then busing over the ranges and down to the fiord. This incredible journey just to get there, is part of what make Doubtful Sound so special. All visitors first cruise the incredible Lake Manipouri – an forgettable lake characterised by innumerable islands, lush rainforest, scores of hidden lake branches and inlets, sandy beaches, cascading waterfalls and towering rugged mountains. Secondly visitors are driven through some of New Zealand’s most pristine untouched alpine scenery, and then finally reach this secluded hidden wonder of nature. Many visitors choose to stay overnight on the cruise ships and awake to secluded Doubtful Sound’s famed “sound of silence”. Doubtful Sound offers the perfect less-commercialised alternative to Milford Sound presenting the ideal opportunity to explore more of the hidden secrets of the deepest parts of Fiordland National Park.

Hewn by mighty glaciers during past ice ages, Doubtful Sound today stands as a testament to the awesome power and awe-inspiring sculpturing ability of glaciers. Glacial hewn U-Shaped valleys, sheer vertical cliff faces and glacial hanging valleys characterise the landscape, and as you gaze in wonder you will be overcome with its sheer beauty and majesty. Doubtful Sound is actually a fiord (a flooded valley formed by a glacier – while a flooded valley formed by a river is a sound). Stretching for about 40 kilometres and reaching depths of 421 metres, Doubtful Sound is 3 times longer and 10 times larger than Milford Sound as well as New Zealand’s deepest fiord.

Doubtful Sound hosts both a rich and peculiar marine eco-system. Not only does Doubtful Sound boast a resident population of about 70 bottlenose dolphins (among the world’s southernmost), but also populations of endemic Fiordland Crested Penguins, fur seals, sea birds and sometimes large whales (especially humpback whales and southern right whales). Sitting on top of Doubtful Sound lies a layer of 2-10 metre thick fresh water (depending on the latest rainfall). Below this stained layer of freshwater (stained by tannins from the rainforest) is the heavier, warmer salt water. Due to the tanned layer of freshwater above blocking the light – deep sea creatures, like black coral, flourish just 10 metres below the surface (ordinarily living 30-40 metres below).

The climate of Doubtful Sound is mild temperatures and very wet. Temperatures typically range from highs of 19C in summer to about 9.5C in winter. Rainfall averages in excess of 6500mm annually making Doubtful Sound one of the wettest places in the world with rainfall 180 days a year. On a sunny day Doubtful Sound brightens up revealing its incredible mountain peaks and awe-inspiring views, on a rainy day the moody sound comes alive with gushing walls of waterfalls, cascading from sheer cliffs around you. All year round – regardless of the weather – Doubtful Sound is a profound, unforgettable wonder of nature.

Doubtful Sound has only limited accommodation facilities. Most accommodation options in Doubtful Sound are in the form of cabins on the cruise boats. Otherwise most people stay in the stunning lakeside resort towns of Te Anau and Queenstown.

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  • AIR MILFORD - Queenstown

    AIR MILFORD - Queenstown

    Mobile-friendly - Air Milford proudly operates the only brand new Cessna Caravan aircraft. This aircraft offers leather seating, quiet air conditioned comfort and great viewing for all passengers. It is one of the safest aircraft flying today. Eco-tours, aircraft charters, fishing, hunting and personalised tours. Flights to Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, the Southern Alps and Glaciers.

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    +64 3 442 2351
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    0800 462 252 (Free call - only within NZ)
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    1 Tex Smith Lane, Frankton, Queenstown, New Zealand
  • CATHEDRAL PEAKS B&B - Manapouri, Fiordland

    CATHEDRAL PEAKS B&B - Manapouri, Fiordland

    Mobile-friendly - Your friendly hosts warmly welcome you to share their stunning purpose-built guest accommodation. Surrounded by majestic scenery, with lakefront location, Cathedral Peaks is your ideal base for relaxing or exploring Lake Manapouri, Doubtful Sound, Milford Sound, Te Anau, and the outstanding attractions of Fiordland. Well-appointed guestrooms, en suite bathrooms, cooked breakfasts, free Internet, set in paradise. Enquire about pricing options.

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    +64 3 249 6640
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    44 Cathedral Drive, Manapouri, Fiordland, New Zealand
  • DOUBTFUL SOUND KAYAK & CRUISE - Fiordland

    DOUBTFUL SOUND KAYAK & CRUISE - Fiordland

    Mobile-friendly - For a unique experience, forget about the crowds and come join us on the water in a sea kayak. We guarantee your visit to Lake Manapouri and Doubtful Sound will be memorable. This rich variety of landscape makes Fiordland a popular destination for those who want to experience the sights and sounds of nature at a close, personal level.

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    +64 3 249 7777
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    0800 4 529 257 (Free call - only within NZ)
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    77 Manapouri-Te Anau Highway, Manapouri, Fiordland, New Zealand
  • DOUBTFUL SOUND OVERNIGHT CRUISE - Fiordland

    DOUBTFUL SOUND OVERNIGHT CRUISE - Fiordland

    Mobile-friendly - Explore isolated and beautiful Doubtful Sound aboard the MV Southern Secret as part of our personalised tour of Doubtful Sound. View marine animals such as dolphins, seals and penguins that call the fiord home; at night listen for the calls of Morepork and Weka! Activities onboard include fishing, scrumptious meals, swimming and star gazing. Join our journey of discovery today.

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    +64 3 249 7777
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    0800 368 283 (0800 DOUBTFUL) (Free call - only within NZ)
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    PO Box 81, Te Anau, Fiordland, New Zealand
  • FIORDLAND EXPEDITIONS LTD - Doubtful Sound

    FIORDLAND EXPEDITIONS LTD - Doubtful Sound

    Mobile-friendly - As you board, your friendly crew will welcome you with a glass of bubbly to set the mood for you to take in the majesty of this awesome World Heritage area. Cruise amongst breath-taking mountain vistas with your captain giving an informative commentary on the area, its' history and how Fiordland was formed, as playful bottle-nose dolphins surf alongside.

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    +64 3 249 9005
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    0508 TUTOKO (Free call - only within NZ)
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    Manapouri, Fiordland, New Zealand
  • FIORDLAND OUTDOORS CO. - Te Anau, Fiordland

    FIORDLAND OUTDOORS CO. - Te Anau, Fiordland

    We show visitors Fiordland like a friend would, and connect them with what they'd like to do here for an unforgettable experience. All our carefully crafted trips and journeys explore Fiordland National Park. Most are privately guided or small groups, with every care and detail taken care of.
    Milford Track | Jet Boat Fishing | Fly Fishing | Crafted Journeys

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    +64 21 197 4555
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    0800 3474 538 (Free call - only within NZ)
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    cnr Oraka St & Milford Highway, Te Anau, Fiordland National Park
  • GO ORANGE - Milford & Doubtful Sounds

    GO ORANGE - Milford & Doubtful Sounds

    Mobile-friendly - Enjoy the longest, least crowded, best valued 2-hour cruise on the Milford Sound or a full-day experience on the more isolated Doubtful Sound. Take in the awesome majesty of mountains, rainforest, unique birds and sea creatures. Or glide right in amongst it in one of our kayaks alongside an experienced guide on your choice of one of 4 kayaking adventures.

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    +64 3 249 8585
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    0800 246 672
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    21 Town Centre, Te Anau 9600, New Zealand
  • MOATREK NEW ZEALAND SMALL GROUP TOURS - Nationwide

    MOATREK NEW ZEALAND SMALL GROUP TOURS - Nationwide

    Looking for the very best of New Zealand for your 'Trip of a Lifetime'? You'll love our friendly small groups and relaxed pace as you discover the true flavour of New Zealand in comfort and style. We’re all Kiwis, we grew up here and can’t wait to show you all our favourites and introduce you to our mates!

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    +64 9 575 6063
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    +64 21 288 0406
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    0800 662 462 (Free call - only within NZ)
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    Level 2, 69-71 Beach Road, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
  • NEW ZEALAND SELF DRIVE TOURS - New Zealand

    NEW ZEALAND SELF DRIVE TOURS - New Zealand

    Mobile-friendly - At New Zealand Self Drive Tours we can custom design your perfect New Zealand holiday package. With over 200 different tour suggestions, every one of our self drive itineraries are 100% customisable, allowing you to incorporate any of our excellent range of activities and accommodations. Chat with our New Zealand travel experts to begin crafting your dream New Zealand holiday!

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    +64 3 443 0812
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    Level 1, 93 Ardmore Street, Wanaka, New Zealand
  • REAL JOURNEYS - Doubtful Sound

    REAL JOURNEYS - Doubtful Sound

    Mobile-friendly - Explore Doubtful Sound with Real Journeys, a local company that has operated excursions in Fiordland for 60 years. Choose day, overnight or coach/cruise options: *Wilderness Day Cruises - a three-hour wilderness cruise through the fiord with our on-board nature guide. *Overnight Cruises - the ultimate dinner, bed and breakfast experience in Doubtful Sound (private en suite cabins).

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    +64 3 249 6000
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    0800 656 501 (Free call - only within NZ)
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    Real Journeys Visitor Centre, Pearl Harbour, Manapouri, New Zealand
  • REAL JOURNEYS - Fiordland, Queenstown and Te Anau

    REAL JOURNEYS - Fiordland, Queenstown and Te Anau

    Mobile-friendly - Discover Fiordland, Queenstown and Te Anau with Real Journeys, a local company that has guided excursions into these unique areas for 60 years. Choose day, overnight or coach/cruise options to Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound. Visit the Te Anau Glowworms Caves, try the Milford Track Guided Day Walk, Queenstown's iconic TSS Earnslaw Steamship and Walter Peak High Country Farm.

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    +64 3 442 7500
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    0800 656 501 (Free call - only within NZ)
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    Real Journeys Visitor Centre, Steamer Wharf, Queenstown, New Zealand
  • REAL JOURNEYS - Milford Sound

    REAL JOURNEYS - Milford Sound

    Mobile-friendly - Locally owned company offering outstanding range of tours in Milford Sound. Both day and overnight cruises that explore this magnificent fiord. Luxury coach transfers from Queenstown and Te Anau and flight connections to/from Milford Sound/Queenstown.

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    +64 3 249 6000
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    0800 656 501 (Free call - only within NZ)
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    Lakefront Drive, PO Box 1, Te Anau, New Zealand
  • TAKAROA 2 ADVENTURE CRUISES - Southland

    TAKAROA 2 ADVENTURE CRUISES - Southland

    Mobile-friendly - Here is a golden opportunity to enter the dress circle of New Zealand's tourist circuit. A sturdy, high-class, well-maintained vessel and an operation geared to achieve. Our vessel offers a variety of unique cruises around the fabulous Stewart Island and Fiordland - an area keenly sought by diving, hunting and fishing parties. This is a unique opportunity for the discerning.

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    +64 3 212 8170
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    +64 279 333 213
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    233 Barrow Street, Bluff 9814, New Zealand

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New Year's Eve Bash with Julian Temple Band

From: Sun 31st Dec 2017

Come celebrate the end of 2017 and bring in the New Year with style at the famous Redcliff Cafe, Te Anau! With music by the ever so bluesy Julian Temple Band from Dunedin! Extremely limited tickets available from the ...

Where: Redcliff Cafe, Te Anau, Fiordland
Address: 12 Mokonui St, Te Anau, Fiordland

From: 10:00pm on Sunday 31st December 2017
To: 1:00am on Monday 1st January 2018

Discover the Alpine World

Sat 20th Jan 2018

Come and explore the alpine world of Fiordland with botanist, Brian Rance. Take a walk along the Mt Burns Tarns Track, enjoy the spectacular views and learn about the amazing plants found there. Please note: A good ...

Where: Mt Burns Tarns Track, Manapouri, Fiordland
Address: Fiordland National Park, Borland Road, Manapouri, Fiordland

From: 10:00am on Saturday 20th January 2018
To: 4:00pm on Saturday 20th January 2018

Southland District Council Holiday Programme

From: Mon 22nd Jan 2018

The Southland District Council Holiday Programme is coming to you this January! Send your kids along for days of sports, crafts, games and challenges. We will be bringing a range of crafts to get creative with, and ...

Where: Fiordland Events Centre, Te Anau, Fiordland
Address: 20 Luxmore Drive, Te Anau, Fiordland

From: 10:00am on Monday 22nd January 2018
To: 3:00pm on Wednesday 24th January 2018

Birds Bats and Banana Splits

Fri 26th Jan 2018

Come and meet the Eglinton Valley bat monitoring team and learn about the amazing creatures they work with. Share a banana split as the sun sets and then head into the forest to discover the creatures of the night! ...

Where: Knobs Flat, Eglinton Valley, Te Anau, Fiordland
Address: 6178 Te Anau Milford Highway, Te Anau, Fiordland

From: 7:30pm on Friday 26th January 2018
To: 11:59pm on Friday 26th January 2018

Earthquakes In the South Island

Fri 26th Jan 2018

The Alpine Fault is one of the world’s major geological features, running 600 km up the spine of the South Island. In the past 8000 years the fault has ruptured 26 times, producing magnitude 8 earthquakes ...

Where: Fiordland National Park Visitors Centre, Te Anau, Fiordland
Address: Lakefront Drive, Te Anau, Fiordland

From: 7:00pm on Friday 26th January 2018
To: 11:59pm on Friday 26th January 2018

World Wetlands Day Celebration

Sat 27th Jan 2018

Come celebrate World Wetlands Day at Rakatu Wetlands! Explore this unique environment and discover the what makes wetlands so important. Located on the floodplain of the Lower Waiau River, the Rakatu Wetlands is Waiau ...

Where: Rakatu Wetlands, Manapouri, Fiordland
Address: Clifden-Blackmount Road, Manapouri, Fiordland

From: 11:00am on Saturday 27th January 2018
To: 4:00pm on Saturday 27th January 2018

Featured

 
Mainstay New Zealand Hotels

Mainstay NZ Hotels

Large collection of independent hotels.

Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels

Holiday packages for any occasion.

Distinction Hotels

Distinction Hotels

Great hotels in great NZ wide locations.