Doubtful Sound

Doubtful Sound: Our most recommended tours and activities

Manapouri: Fiordland National Park Doubtful Sound Cruise

1. Manapouri: Fiordland National Park Doubtful Sound Cruise

Spend a day in the remote wilderness of Doubtful Sound, located in the heart of Fiordland National Park and three times longer than Milford Sound. Self-drive to Manapouri and board a cruise across picturesque Lake Manapouri, followed by a bus trip across Wilmot Pass. Stop en route to experience the dense Fiordland rainforest. At Deep Cove, board the Patea Explorer, a purpose-built catamaran, for a 2-hour and 45-minute cruise on Doubtful Sound. See waterfalls, rainforests, and mountains during the cruise. You might spot the resident pod of bottlenose dolphins, the colony of fur seals at the mouth of the fiord, or even rare Fiordland crested penguins. During the cruise, knowledgeable nature guides will provide informative commentary.  When it rains in Fiordland, the landscape is dramatic - rock faces stream with waterfalls, mist hangs around the tops of the mountains, and rivers and streams rage.  From a dry comfortable vantage point on board the bus or vessel, this landscape is spectacular. Be prepared for rainfall during your visit. Many say you have not seen Fiordland unless you have seen it in the rain. At the end of your tour, be returned to the departure point.

From Queenstown: Premium Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Trip

2. From Queenstown: Premium Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Trip

Visit Doubtful Sound on a full-day trip from Queenstown. Board a luxury bus and travel along the shores of Lake Wakatipu, through the rolling countryside to Manapouri. Enjoy informative commentary along the way from your driver. From Manapouri, cruise across the crystal waters of Lake Manapouri to West Arm. Then board a coach to cross the alpine route of the Wilmot Pass, through some of Fiordland National Park’s most dense rainforest. On reaching Deep Cove, climb aboard a modern catamaran for a 2.75-hour cruise, exploring the waterways of this serene and isolated fiord. See waterfalls, rainforests, mountains, and wildlife. Your knowledgeable nature guides will provide you with engaging and informative commentary throughout.  You'll be treated to the sound of silence when the vessel’s engines are turned off. Experience floating on the fiord, with only the rush of waterfalls and birdsong to break the silence. Bring your own lunch, or purchase snacks on board in the vessel’s cafes. If you would like to preorder a picnic lunch, feel free to contact the activity provider directly after booking. When it rains in Fiordland, the landscape is especially dramatic. The scenery is spectacular, and you will stay dry and comfortable from your vantage point on the catamaran. At the end of your cruise, return over Wilmot Pass by coach and cruise across Lake Manapouri before the bus journey back to Queenstown.

Doubtful Sound: Scenic Flight with 2 Landings

3. Doubtful Sound: Scenic Flight with 2 Landings

Experience the stunning Fiordland National Park from the sky. Soar high above the Iris Burn Valley and Lake Manapouri, also known as the "Lake of Many Islands". Spot the infamous West Arm Power Station on Lake Manapouri before flying up and over the Wilmot Pass into Doubtful Sound. This long and winding fiord is one of Fiordland’s deepest and is home to a number of stunning waterfalls. Your helicopter will detour into magical Campbell’s Kingdom, a beautiful hanging valley encompassing a lake and a waterfall. This is the stuff of fairytales. From here, take a peek at Bradshaw Sound before soaring over the Main Divide of the Southern Alps for a second remote landing at scenic Mount Kidd. Make sure you have the camera or phone well charged for this flight — you’ll want to revisit the scenes and landscapes you visit over and over again.

Te Anau: 40-Minute Doubtful Sound Scenic Seaplane Flight

4. Te Anau: 40-Minute Doubtful Sound Scenic Seaplane Flight

Take off from the Lakefront in Te Anau and explore the famous Doubtful Sound Fiordland in a way not many get the opportunity to do so aboard South Island New Zealand's only seaplane.  Fly with an experienced and personable local pilot who will conduct an informative commentary throughout your flight. Be able to listen and speak using your headset. Soar over the Doubtful Sound, which is known for being one of the deepest fiords and is long and winding with three distinct arms.  See breathtaking waterfalls and unspoiled scenery in its most dramatic form on a 40-minute flight with the upmost safety standards, operating in accordance with strict Civil Aviation New Zealand Rules.

From Te Anau: Scenic Flight to Doubtful and Milford Sound

5. From Te Anau: Scenic Flight to Doubtful and Milford Sound

Soar high above Lake Manapouri and deep into the heart of Doubtful Sound, also known as the "Sound of Silence" due to its remote location. The first landing is in Campbell’s Kingdom, a unique hanging valley suspended amidst mountains. See the picturesque valley that has its own waterfall and lake. From here, fly above several more fiords before arriving at Milford Sound and touring Fiordland’s most famous destination. A Milford Sound scenic flight is the best way to see all the fiord has to offer, as you will be amazed by the sheer granite cliffs and inky blue water. The second landing is at Lake Quill, high above Milford itself and is located at the head of the spectacular Sutherland Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in the Southern Hemisphere.

Other Sightseeing Options in Doubtful Sound

Want to discover all there is to do in Doubtful Sound? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Doubtful Sound

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 240 reviews

We really appreciated the availability of excellent food choices to take on the cruise from the cafe at the visitors centre. I had not realised that I could have pre-ordered lunch when booking but that was not a problem as the cafe food choices suited us very well. The journey was comfortable and professional. The commentary had just the right amount of information and it was delivered with a good amount of Kiwi humour. It is a long and tiring day. Layers of warm clothes are essential especially if you want to view from the outside decks. We were fortunate to have a clear and calm day for our cruise but that is not always the case, so keep an open mind. The Kiwis are great folk, but like us all, they haven’t the ability to change the weather forecast.

Fantastic day trip, we got rain, cloud and sunshine all in one journey which made it more enjoyable to appreciate the beautiful scenery under different conditions. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and provided good humour along the way.

Great information, Guides were fantastic and informative. Both boats and coaches were in excellent condition and helpful staff

Rain , wind and sunshine made this a special day. The misty conditions added to the true feeling of nature at it's best.

Fabulous day from start to finish thanks to great staff and not to mention the weather couldn't have asked for better