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Boutique vineyard-stay near the town of Alexandra.

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
  • 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

    Mobile-friendly - Whether it’s water taxi transfers, all-in-one transport packages or making sense of getting to the Great Walks, we’re here to make adventures happen. Fiordland Outdoors Co has transported thousands of hikers, hunters and explorers into Fiordland National Park for unforgettable experiences in nature. Fiordland is our backyard. Sustainability and guardianship are at the forefront of everything we do.

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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
  • 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
  • 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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  • MOATREK SMALL GROUP ESCAPES

    MOATREK SMALL GROUP ESCAPES

    Small group guided tours for mature travellers. MoaTrek 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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  • 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

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Fiordland Big 3

From: Thu 2nd Jun 2022

Hunting begins at 7:00pm on the Thursday before Queen's Birthday weekend. Teams can hunt throughout the Fiordland region and also the wider Southland and Otago area to bag the three species; deer, pig, or a pest. Hunting ...

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

From: 7:00pm on Thursday 2nd June 2022
To: 2:00pm on Sunday 5th June 2022

Fiordland Tamatea Adventure

From: Sat 4th Jun 2022

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

Where: Tamatea, Manapouri, Southland
Address: Dusky Sound, Fiordland

From: 10:00am on Saturday 4th June 2022
To: 1:00pm on Wednesday 8th June 2022

Fiordland Photography Adventure

From: Mon 13th Jun 2022

Explore Dusky Sound onboard our 27-metre expedition vessel Flightless and capture the moment with landscape photographer William Patino in a winter wonderland that shows Fiordland in its best light. "I’ve dedicated ...

Where: Dusky Sound, Manapouri, Fiordland
Address: Aviation Drive, Manapouri, Fiordland

From: 10:00am on Monday 13th June 2022
To: 1:00pm on Friday 17th June 2022

Image for event: Tribute To Queen, Bee Gees, Eagles

Tribute To Queen, Bee Gees, Eagles

Sat 18th Jun 2022

Madsen Promotions brings you 3 of their best acts combined into one mighty show. Paul Madsen and Band deliver with accurate precision their rendition of these 3 classic acts Nothing but the hits topped off with full ...

Where: Te Anau Club, Te Anau, Fiordland
Address: Pop Andrew Drive, Te Anau, Fiordland

From: 7:30pm on Saturday 18th June 2022
To: 10:30pm on Saturday 18th June 2022

Workplace First Aid Workshop Te Anau

Mon 18th Jul 2022

Workplace First Aid Workshop Te Anau Attain your St John First Aid Level 1 certificate (valid for two years). Ideal for anyone who wants to learn basic first aid or needs to update their first aid qualification. ...

Where: Te Anau Club, Te Anau, Fiordland
Address: Pop Andrew Drive, Te Anau, Fiordland

From: 8:30am on Monday 18th July 2022
To: 5:00pm on Monday 18th July 2022

Meridian Hydro Half Marathon

Sat 6th Aug 2022

The 2022 Meridian Hydro half marathon & Mitre 10 Te Anau 10k is back for the 4th Year. Starting at the location of the original Hydro Construction Village, the race crosses the Te Anau-Manapouri Highway and drops ...

Where: Fiordland Trail, Te Anau, Southland
Address: Te Anau, Kepler Farm, Manapouri

From: 10:30am on Saturday 6th August 2022
To: 11:59pm on Saturday 6th August 2022

Hunters Journal Adventure

From: Fri 30th Sep 2022

Join us on this unique expedition... a Hunters Journal and Pure Salt co-lab as we explore the remote fiords of Dusky and Breaksea Sound onboard our 27m expedition vessel Flightless. It's all about hunting - looking ...

Where: Tamatea, Manapouri, Southland
Address: Dusky Sound, Fiordland

From: 10:00am on Friday 30th September 2022
To: 1:00pm on Wednesday 5th October 2022

Te Anau Manapouri Fishing Classic

From: Fri 21st Oct 2022

The Te Anau Manapouri Fishing Classic is a major fishing competition in Fiordland held annually over Labour Weekend. 2022 will be the 15th year for the Stabicraft Te Anau Manapouri Fishing Classic and the event is ...

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

From: 3:00pm on Friday 21st October 2022
To: 2:00pm on Sunday 23rd October 2022

Milford Mountain Classic

Sat 18th Feb 2023

Join the 120km long road cycle race from Milford Sound to Te Anau along what is described as the most beautiful stretch of road in the world! Whether you are NZ Cycling’s Elite Riders or those just wanting to give it a ...

Where: Milford Road, Te Anau, Southland
Address: Milford

From: 12:00pm on Saturday 18th February 2023
To: 8:00pm on Saturday 18th February 2023

Heart of the Highlands

From: Fri 7th Apr 2023

The 2022 Te Anau Tartan Festival has been cancelled due to COVID-19 red restrictions. However Easter 2023 is on - see you in Te Anau in April 2023. Book early to ensure you don't miss this once in a lifetime ...

Where: Fiordland Community Events Centre, Te Anau, Fiordland
Address: 20-22 Luxmore Drive, Te Anau, Fiordland

From: 7:00pm on Friday 7th April 2023
To: 10:00pm on Sunday 9th April 2023

Featured
 
Mainstay New Zealand Hotels

Mainstay NZ Hotels

Large collection of independent hotels.

Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels

Holiday packages for any occasion.

Hawkdun Rise

Hawkdun Rise

Boutique vineyard-stay near the town of Alexandra.