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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. Family owned and operated, with a 100% safety record. 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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    3 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
  • DEEP COVE CHARTERS - Doubtful Sound

    DEEP COVE CHARTERS - Doubtful Sound

    Experience a unique overnight cruise on the beautiful and serene Doubtful Sound, set in the spectacular Fiordland National Park, one of our most scenic and awe-inspiring Sounds in New Zealand. Doubtful Sound Charters are also available - ideal for fishing, diving, hunting for personal and corporate groups.

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    +64 3 249 6828
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    PO Box 64, Manapouri, 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
  • EVENT BUS CHARTERS & TOURS - Invercargill

    EVENT BUS CHARTERS & TOURS - Invercargill

    Mobile-friendly - Event Bus Charters & Tours is Invercargill's newest, fun and reliable bus chartering company. Hire us today for your next event or road trip! Scenic Southland tours and bus charters, departing from Invercargill.

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    0800 66 77 44 (Free call - only within NZ)
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    59B Bond St, West Invercargill, Invercargill, New Zealand
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  • 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 (888 656) (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/Kepler Track/Jet Boat Fishing/Fly Fishing/Private Fiordland 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 CRUISE - Milford & Doubtful Sounds

    GO ORANGE CRUISE - 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 3 442 7340
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    0800 505 504 (Free call - only within NZ)
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    35 Shotover St, Queenstown, New Zealand
  • HELI GLENORCHY - Queenstown & Glenorchy

    HELI GLENORCHY - Queenstown & Glenorchy

    Mobile-friendly - Spectacular scenic helicopter flights to Milford Sound, Fiordland, and the Queenstown region. Based in Glenorchy, NZ - the real "Middle Earth", a 45 minute lakeside drive from Queenstown. For an even more exclusive skiing experience, why not try a day of heli-skiing in untouched alpine terrain. Heli Glenorchy offers boutique heli-skiing in the spectacular mountains surrounding Queenstown, Wanaka and Glenorchy.

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    +64 3 442 9971
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    0800 435 449 (Free call - only within NZ)
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    35 Mull St, Glenorchy, New Zealand
  • MoaTours

    MoaTours

    Small group guided tours for mature travellers. MoaTours holidays are designed especially for those who want to explore our beautiful countryside in a small friendly group with the care and attention of a professional Kiwi Guide. Enjoy special annual events, summer getaways and get to know the locals over relaxed lunches in their homes.

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    0800 662 462 (Free call - only within NZ)
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    Level 2/69-71 Beach Rd, Auckland, 1010, New Zealand
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  • 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 small friendly 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 our favourite spots and introduce you to our mates!

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    +64 9 575 6063
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    0800 662 462 (Free call - only within NZ)
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    Level 2, 69-71 Beach Road, Auckland, New Zealand
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  • 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
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  • 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 - Our vessel offers a variety of unique cruises around Stewart Island and Fiordland. A big, capable vessel with five comfortable guest cabins and a huge area of deck space. Popular with diving, hunting and fishing parties, she is also well suited to family and corporate groups.

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    +64 3 212 8170
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    +64 27 933 3213
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    233 Barrow Street, Bluff 9814, New Zealand

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Community Planting Event

Wed 18th Sep 2019

Join us at the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary to help improve this beautiful space and share morning tea! All are welcome! Help to plant native tussocks and shrubs at the Sanctuary to provide food and shelter for moths, ...

Where: Te Anau Bird Sanctuary, Te Anau, Southland
Address: Manapouri-Te Anau Highway

From: 10:00am on Wednesday 18th September 2019
To: 12:00pm on Wednesday 18th September 2019

Image for event: African Wild Dogs - A Conservation Story

African Wild Dogs - A Conservation Story

Thu 19th Sep 2019

Conservation isn't just in New Zealand! Join us at this special evening talk to hear from Visitor Centre Ranger Karin about her work in Kenya with this amazing endangered species.

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

From: 7:30pm on Thursday 19th September 2019
To: 8:30pm on Thursday 19th September 2019

Raranga Maori Weaving - Tukutuku

From: Fri 20th Sep 2019

Learn techniques of Raranga - Maori weaving with Anna Gorham, taking home your own tukutuku panel after this weekend course. You will learn the history of the tukutuku panels, also tikanga and kawa in relation to the ...

Where: Te Anau Rugby Club, Te Anau, Fiordland
Address: Dusky St, Te Anau, Fiordland

From: 6:30pm on Friday 20th September 2019
To: 12:00pm on Sunday 22nd September 2019

Fiordland Spring Adventure

From: Sun 13th Oct 2019

Join us on our Fiordland Spring Adventure as we explore the remote fiords of Dusky and Breaksea Sound on board our 27m expedition vessel Flightless. Spring is a magic time of year! It's all about exploring so ...

Where: Fiordland National Park, Te Anau, Fiordland
Address: SH 95, Te Anau, Fiordland

From: 10:00am on Sunday 13th October 2019
To: 1:00pm on Friday 18th October 2019

Fiordland Tamatea Adventure

From: Wed 23rd Oct 2019

Join us on our Conservation Adventure as we explore the remote fiord of Dusky Sound on board our 27m expedition vessel Flightless - all profit will go towards the Tamatea project. The Tamatea/Dusky Sound restoration ...

Where: Fiordland National Park, Te Anau, Fiordland
Address: SH 95, Te Anau, Fiordland

From: 10:00am on Wednesday 23rd October 2019
To: 1:00pm on Sunday 27th October 2019

Fiordland Captain Cook/ Tuia250 Adventure

From: Sat 26th Oct 2019

Join us on our History Adventure as we explore the remote fiord of Dusky Sound on board our 27m expedition vessel M.V. Flightless for a very special commemoration. This year marks the anniversary of the arrival of ...

Where: Fiordland National Park, Te Anau, Fiordland
Address: SH 95, Te Anau, Fiordland

From: 10:00am on Saturday 26th October 2019
To: 1:00pm on Thursday 31st October 2019

Fiordland Wilderness Adventure

From: Tue 5th Nov 2019

Join us on our Fiordland Wilderness Adventure as we explore the remote fiords of Dusky and Breaksea Sound on board our 27m expedition vessel Flightless. It's all about exploring so there'll be plenty of time to kayak, ...

Where: Fiordland National Park, Te Anau, Fiordland
Address: SH 95, Te Anau, Fiordland

From: 10:00am on Tuesday 5th November 2019
To: 1:00pm on Saturday 9th November 2019

Pure Blue Tamatea Adventure

From: Wed 13th Nov 2019

Join LegaSEA, Ghost Fishing and ourselves in support of our underwater Conservation Adventure as we explore the remote fiord of Dusky Sound on board our 27m expedition vessel Flightless - all profit will go towards the ...

Where: Fiordland National Park, Te Anau, Fiordland
Address: SH 95, Te Anau, Fiordland

From: 10:00am on Wednesday 13th November 2019
To: 1:00pm on Saturday 16th November 2019

Fiordland Seafood Adventure

From: Thu 28th Nov 2019

It's all about seafood.. Explore Dusky Sound with local food legend Fleur Sutherland, students and teachers from Otago Polytechnic Central Campus and us, as spring arrives in Fiordland. Gather a variety of fresh ...

Where: Fiordland National Park, Te Anau, Fiordland
Address: SH 95, Te Anau, Fiordland

From: 10:00am on Thursday 28th November 2019
To: 1:00pm on Sunday 1st December 2019

Image for event: Kepler Challenge

Kepler Challenge

Sat 7th Dec 2019

Face up to the challenge of completing "the jewel in New Zealand's mountain running calendar" - the 2019 FreshChoice Kepler Challenge! Run annually, this will be the event's 32nd year. Where else would you want to be ...

Where: Kepler Track, Manapouri, Fiordland
Address: Fiordland National Park, Manapouri, Fiordland

From: 6:00am on Saturday 7th December 2019
To: 11:59pm on Saturday 7th December 2019

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.