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Doubtful Sound - Fiordland National Park, New Zealand:

Although Milford and Doubtful are referred to as sounds, they are both in fact excellent examples of fjords:

Real Journeys logoTours to Doubtful Sound are operated by Real Journeys. They offer regular daily excursions along with overnight cruises. Your journey to Doubtful Sound begins in Manapouri (170kms from Queenstown and 22kms from Te Anau).
Fiordland FlyerThe route to this pristine wilderness firstly includes a cruise across the beautiful island studded Lake Manapouri on one of Real Journey's fast modern launches to West Arm.

From West Arm the trip continues by coach over Wilmot Pass stopping several times to view mosses and ferns (below) and views of Doubtful Sound. Wilmot Pass (elevation about 680 meters), is the highest point Moss wall on Wilmot Passof the utility road which connects the Power Station at Lake Manapouri with Doubtful Sound at the Tasman Sea. Then onto Deep Cove at the head of the Sound for a 3 hour boat cruise or kayaking on un-spoilt Doubtful Sound. It is the second most accessible and second most visited fiord in Fiordland National Park.

This fiord is the second largest of Fiordland National Park's fourteen fiords and it is three times longer & roughly 10 times larger than Milford Sound due to its greater length and its three arms - Hall, Crooked and First. All three arms are found on the southern side of the fiord. Doubtful Sound is known not only for its breathtaking scenery, but also for its abundant wildlife - Bottlenose Dolphins, Fur Seals and Penguins. Two main types of Penguins are found here - Fiordland Crested and Blue Penguins.

The Wilmot Pass Road was purpose built to aid in the construction of the Manapouri Power Station. A cantilevered Map of Fiordlandwharf was built at Deep Cove, so that supplies could be shipped into the sound and where necessary, trucked over the Main Divide. It took two years for the road to be carved out of mountain and bush (from 1963 to 1965), with a length of approx. 20 Km and the highest point of the Pass being 2100 feet. The road was built to better-than-usual standards to take massive transporters with machinery for the power station, and is now used by tourist and fishing operators.

It is one of the few roads that traverses Fiordland National Park and offers magnificent views of river valleys, wild mountain scenery and cascading waterfalls. The road can only be accessed from West Arm on Lake Manapouri and Deep Cove. West Arm and Deep Cove, Doubtful Sound can only be reached by boat or plane.

Destination Queenstown logo Moss wall Coach on Wilmot Pass Fiordland Navigator View of Doubtful Sound from Wilmot Pass.

Doubtful Sound:

Once at Doubtful Sound you board the new Patea Explorer catamaran for your 3 hour day cruise or Patea Explorer up Hall Armthe Fiordland Navigator if on the overnight cruise. Doubtful Sound is an un-spoilt and remote wilderness of many moods; one minute clear, blue & sun-drenched, the next mysterious and mist-shrouded. When you discover Doubtful Sound you will be struck by the quality of its silence. When your cruise boat turns off its engines, the silence is only broken by birdsong, or maybe the rushing of a distant waterfall.

All cruises take in the Seal Colony near the mouth of the Sound. Seal colony at mouth of Doubtful Sound
The overnight cruises on the Fiordland Navigator (which sleeps up to 70 people), are a 24 hour cruise and depart just after mid-day. This allows plenty of time to Kayak around the shoreline, explore in the tender craft with the nature guide, or just relax on deck. All meals and Fiordland Navigator and Sea Kayaksactivities are included.

Lake Vista Bed & Breakfast are booking agents for Real Journeys and are able to help you plan your time and happy to handle any tour bookings for you.

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