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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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The Ranch Bar & Grill Te Anau Rodeo

Mon 30th Dec 2019

The 52nd annual Ranch Bar & Grill Te Anau rodeo is being held beside Lake Te Anau during the Christmas holidays on Monday 30th December Come along to watch steer wrestling, barrel racing, bareback, saddle bronc, rope ...

Where: Rodeo Grounds, Te Anau, Fiordland
Address: Lakefront Drive, Te Anau, Fiordland

From: 11:00am on Monday 30th December 2019
To: 4:30pm on Monday 30th December 2019

Fiordland History Adventure

From: Mon 13th Jan 2020

Join us on our History Adventure as we explore the remote fiords of Preservation and Chalky Inlet on board our 27m expedition vessel Flightless. Although history is the focus there'll be plenty of time to kayak, hunt, ...

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

From: 10:00am on Monday 13th January 2020
To: 1:00pm on Saturday 18th January 2020

Fiordland All Girls Adventure – February 2020

From: Wed 12th Feb 2020

Explore Fiordland your way.. Our girls only adventure has become an annual event for likeminded girls, woman, chicks, mothers, sisters, grandmothers, daughters, wives, girlfriends.. So come and explore the remote ...

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

From: 10:00am on Wednesday 12th February 2020
To: 1:00pm on Sunday 16th February 2020

The Big Bike Film Night

Wed 13th May 2020

Prepare to be inspired! The Big Bike Film Night is on a mission sharing the best cycling short films from around the world with you! Showcasing our 2020 collection that has everything a cycle-centric audience ...

Where: Distinction Hotel, Te Anau, Fiordland
Address: Lakefront Drive, Te Anau, Fiordland

From: 7:00pm on Wednesday 13th May 2020
To: 9:10pm on Wednesday 13th May 2020

Fiordland Tamatea Adventure – June 2020

From: Sun 7th Jun 2020

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 restoration of Tamatea/Dusky Sound. The Tamatea/Dusky ...

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

From: 11:00am on Sunday 7th June 2020
To: 1:00pm on Thursday 11th June 2020

Fiordland Tamatea Adventure – October 2020

From: Tue 6th Oct 2020

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: 11:00am on Tuesday 6th October 2020
To: 11:59pm on Saturday 10th October 2020

Fiordland Spring Adventure

From: Tue 20th Oct 2020

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: 11:00am on Tuesday 20th October 2020
To: 1:00pm on Sunday 25th October 2020

Fiordland Wilderness Adventure – November 2020

From: Wed 11th Nov 2020

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: 11:00am on Wednesday 11th November 2020
To: 1:00pm on Sunday 15th November 2020

Fiordland Seafood Adventure – December 2020

From: Sat 5th Dec 2020

t's all about seafood... Explore Dusky Sound with a well known chef, students and teachers from Otago Polytechnic Central Campus and us as spring arrives in Fiordland. Gather a variety of fresh seafood, learn how to ...

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

From: 11:00am on Saturday 5th December 2020
To: 1:00pm on Tuesday 8th December 2020

Fiordland History Adventure – January 2021

From: Wed 20th Jan 2021

Join us on our History Adventure as we explore the remote fiords of Preservation and Chalky Inlet on board our 27m expedition vessel Flightless. Although history is the focus there'll be plenty of time to kayak, hunt, ...

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

From: 11:00am on Wednesday 20th January 2021
To: 1:00pm on Sunday 24th January 2021

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.