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Doubtful Sound
Doubtful Sound

Doubtful Sound

Fiordland National Park

The Basics

Helicopter and small-plane flights offer spectacular aerial views of the fjord and the surrounding national park, while those interested in seeing the fjord from the water can embark on a catamaran cruise around Doubtful Sound, setting sail from Deep Cove. Tours run from Te Anau, Manapouri, and Queenstown, and often visit other natural wonders such as Manapouri Lake, the Te Anau Glowworm Cave, Dusky Sound, and the Wilmot Pass en-route to the fjord.

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Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Cruise from Manapouri
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Cruise from Manapouri
$127.61 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Big day out on the fiord!
The whole experience was magical. The scenery was incredible as were the hosts. Their commentary was interesting and relevant. We did not feel like a tourist but a visitor to their own backyards! So big ups to the staff for making the day even more memorable. We were lucky enough to head out into the Tasman sea at the end of the fiord. Wow. Would definitely recommend this incredible day to all our friends and family. Thanks
Julie_B, Jul 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in Fiordland & Milford Sound

star-5
It’s a MUST when you visit Queenstown
ZuEe, Aug 2022
Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise from Queenstown
Well worth our time! Much preferred Doubtful Sound than Milford. Overall experience had been great, from the start till we said goodbye.
star-5
Doubtful Sound Day Cruise
Bruno_L, Apr 2022
Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Cruise from Manapouri
A unique experience to access the wild and beautiful Doubtful Sound. We saw dolphins and seals and experienced the silence in this remote area. Excellent service too!
star-5
Place of varying moods
Pam_S, Apr 2022
Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Cruise from Manapouri
Rainbows, seals, dolphins, sound of bird life in the silence, reaching the Tasman sea, exploring different arms of Doubtful Sound, watching waterfalls, varying mood and weather effects.
star-5
Sunny winter day @ doubtful
Denise_L, Jul 2022
Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise from Queenstown
Everything was well organized (complimentary taxi to meeting point, bus-boat-bus-boat to reach doubtful), and packed lunch was more than sufficient. Weather was great, and drivers were cheery, kind and a wealth of information. Thank you!
star-5
Stunning
Ken_O, Apr 2022
Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Cruise from Manapouri
Good commentary by all staff and beautiful scenery and all seasons whether Great to be able to sample the Tasman see as well
star-5
New Zealand at its best
Sandra_C, Mar 2022
Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Cruise from Manapouri
Spectacular scenery, wildlife and interesting and informative commentary. Loved the sound of silence at Crooked Arm. A rare opportunity to experience the forest birdsong across the water.
star-4
Interestingly frustrating but fun and memerable.
Isobel_Seath, Jul 2021
Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise from Queenstown
Was an amazingly beautiful day to go on what I'm sure is a beautiful tour of the gorgeous Doubtful Sound. However, the majority of the trip that we got to complete was gorgeous but was a shame to no-ones fault except the engine of the boat that we did not actually get to see the Doubtful Sound in the end due to engine troubles. We are really looking forward to rebooking and going another time to complete the tour. Thank you for a lovely memorable day :)
star-5
DOUBTFUL SOUND
Brian_U, Jan 2020
Full-Day Doubtful Sound Flight and Cruise from Queenstown
AMAZING experience and outstanding service from Air Milford, especially our pilot Jimmy. THANKS JIMMY!
star-5
Stunning memorable day!
Peter_F, Mar 2022
Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Cruise from Manapouri
Stunning scenery all day. Very different experience on a cloudless hot day compared to wet and windy...no waterfalls at all but still wonderful. The cruise across Manapouri and the the drive with fun guides to the Sound made for a great day and it did not feel like nearly 8 hours went by.
star-4
Worth visit
Pornpop_U, Jun 2021
Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise from Queenstown
The tour company and tour guide were nice. Although, to me, the Sound is not as attractive as Milford Sound owing to fewer waterfalls along the Sound, it was worth for money and time to visit this beautiful and serene Sound especially the Sound of Silence where the water was still enough to reflect all surrounding mountains. Overall, the visit is recommended.
star-5
Highly recommend!
Cheryl_M, Mar 2020
Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise from Queenstown
Loved everything about this trip. While travelling on the bus after the boat trip across Lake Manapouri, we were able to see the trees that inspired Peter Jackson to create the Ents in the Lord of the Rings. The boat ride in Doubtful Sound was incredible especially the couple minutes of silence to enjoy the beauty of nature.
star-5
Magic
Jeanette_H, Apr 2021
Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Cruise from Manapouri
Where to start! Just a really special day all round. Staff were friendly, informative and gave just the right amount of commentary. Doubtful Sound itself would have to be the most memorable part - beautiful, peaceful and dramatic. Both the trip over Manapouri and the bus trip over the Wilmot Pass were enjoyable as well.
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Things to Know Before You Go

  • The weather in Doubtful Sound can be unpredictable, so prepare for wind and rain even in summer.

  • If hiking, wear comfortable shoes and bring water and snacks—there are limited places to purchase supplies.

  • Cell phone coverage is limited, but free Wi-Fi is available at the Fjordland National Park Visitor Center.

  • Most Doubtful Sound cruises are wheelchair accessible, but not all activities within Fiordland National Park are accessible to those with limited mobility, so it’s best to check in advance.

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How to Get There

Doubtful Sound is located on the southwest coast of New Zealand’s South Island. The fjord can be reached from Manapouri, a town roughly 100 miles (170 kilometers) by road from Queenstown, a drive of about 2.5 hours. The journey includes a ferry ride across Lake Manapouri, followed by a bus ride over the Wilmot Pass. It is also possible to arrive by helicopter. The nearest international airport is in Queenstown.

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When to Get There

Summer (December through February) is the most popular time to visit Doubtful Sound, but the area is open year-round. Winter visitors will be at the weather’s mercy and there will be fewer departures to choose from, but tours are often cheaper and the snow-covered landscapes make for some stunning scenery.

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Wildlife Spotting at Doubtful Sound

Here you can spot rare Fiordland crested penguins and New Zealand fur seals, especially on the fjord’s islands. Be on the lookout for southern right whales, orcas, and humpback whales as you cruise through the fjord, and look down to spot black coral beneath the water.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Doubtful Sound?
A:
Attractions near Doubtful Sound:
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Fiordland & Milford Sound?
A:
As well as visiting the Doubtful Sound, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: