Many visitors to the famous Fiordland National Park will choose to head straight to Milford Sound. Whether it's because they haven't heard of Doubtful Sound, or they are determined to see what everyone has been talking about, a lot of people miss out on, what many would argue, an even more spectacular experience.
It is just a two hour drive from Queenstown to Te Anau, gateway to Fiordland National Park, and from here you can join a tour to explore the awe-inspiring Doubtful sound. With three different arms to explore, the Doubtful Sound is both longer and deeper than its famous northern counterpart - it is in fact a full 10 times larger than the Milford Sound, this in itself makes it well worth a visit!
Visiting Doubtful Sound
To get to Doubtful Sound you won't be following the hordes of visitors heading off down the twisting, turning Milford Road, instead take a short 20 minute drive south of Te Anau to the lovely lake-side town of Manapouri.
Join a day cruise of the Doubtful Sound and begin your adventure! Your day will start out with a boat trip over Lake Manapouri, landing across the lake, you will then journey by coach over Wilmot Pass. Drive through beautiful forest and mountains, learn about the areas geological history and marvel at the stunning views along the way.
Board your cruise vessel and head up through the incredible Doubtful Sound for your nature cruise journey. With no human populations in this part of the national park, you will be able to soak in the absence of human noise, and enjoy the sounds of nature. Listen to the native bird calls, pick out the conversations between insects in the trees and enjoy the gentle splashes and bubbles of the water flow.
If one day is just not enough, consider boarding an overnight cruise of the sound. With a number of operators to choose from, including Real Journeys and Fiordland Cruises, your overnight cruise will see you dining in style, and falling asleep to the gentle sound of water splashing against the boat. With the opportunity to explore more of the Sound by kayak, or even brave the cool waters for a refreshing swim, you will have the opportunity to see fur seals, dolphins, and even the elusive Fiordland crested penguin!
With so many exciting things to see, make sure that you don't forget your camera!