Doubtful Sound
Doubtful Sound
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  • Amy D
    Millville, Delaware22 contributions
    A beautiful part of the world
    Highly recommend Doubtful Sound. It is a different experience than Milford and well worth doing- its beautiful. Don't miss it. We were lucky enough to be there on a rainy day- in its full glory. Travel tip: Don't book tours of Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound on back to back days. Give yourself a day between them to be fully charged to enjoy. We did and thought the experience was better for it. It's a beautiful part of the world. Don't miss it.
    Visited February 2023
    Written 1 March 2023
  • Vicki D
    9 contributions
    The sounds of silence
    Doubtful Sound is one of the most awesome experiences in the world! There’s a lot in NZ which is claimed to be the best in the world/southern hemisphere but this is the real deal. We had tried to get a double room on board which would have been the icing on the cake. However, the basic accommodation didn’t deter from the overall experience. We’ll worth it.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 2 March 2023
  • Rodney J
    Holywell, United Kingdom8 contributions
    The best of beautiful New Zealand
    A truly magical place! We enjoyed a one night cruise on Doubtful Sound 28th/29th December 2022. The scenery is breathtakingly beautiful and it's a "must do" if you're down South on the West coast of New Zealand. We were lucky, as we saw it bathed in beautiful sunshine on day one and in its rain forest state the next day.
    Visited December 2022
    Written 9 March 2023
  • gdalal
    1 contribution
    Enchanting Experience
    Took the Doubtful sound day tour from Queenstown on the 1st March .The bus ride to Manapouri Lake was scenic and then got on the Boat across the Lake Manapouri and saw the Power Station water inlets and transmission facility at the South end of the Lake. The 45 minute bus ride across the Willmot Pass was very beautiful and the mountain rain forest and fauna was very mesmerising. Reached the deep Cove to start the second Boat trip and the Doubtful sound was very enchanting. It was raining and drizzling and waterfalls were glorious. Saw the seals lazing on the rock at the mouth of the sound. The boat did an extra trip through the Crooked arm of the sound as a Bonus. Returned back to the Deep Cove after 2 hours of an enchanting cruise . Loved the Cruise so mauch that four days later took another Doubful sound Cruise after finding a 11th hour vacancy !!
    Visited March 2023
    Written 13 March 2023
  • BHG
    3 contributions
    Wonderful and certain Doubtful Sound experience
    It is a very good experience! You can’t miss it! Rmb to arrive a little bit earlier for parking spots. And no need to take the best seats when it starts because everyone will go out and take photo! The captain and the driver are very humorous and knowledgeable! You can’t miss what they say!
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 20 March 2023
  • Peter A
    27 contributions
    No doubt you should do it!
    Excellent boat ride across Lake Manopori and then a scenic bus ride and a fjord experience that will save you the time and trouble of going to Norway. Good day out. Bring your own sandwiches.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 21 March 2023
  • traveladdict3500
    Hasselt, Belgium783 contributions
    Make a trip with Real Journeys : wonderfull !
    A Sound in New Zealand is the same as a Fjord in Norway. Doubtful sound is impressive and beautiful. The only good way to see it is with a boat trip with Real Journeys. We made our reservations months in advance to be sure of our tickets.
    Visited February 2023
    Written 17 April 2023
  • Dermot
    Auckland, New Zealand5 contributions
    RealNZ doubtful sounds cruise
    Wet and cloudy but one of my best days in New Zealand! Doubtful sounds was amazing, so many waterfalls came out today due the rain. Then there was a sound of silence where all the engines were shut off, all phones are away and nobody moves - you just listen to the waterfalls and nature. Also as a bonus the dolphins came out as well as an albatross! I’ll definitely be back in the Fiordlands before too long! #realnz #doubtfulsound #fiordlandnationalpark
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 18 May 2023
  • Raphael V
    3 contributions
    Don’t miss this
    Fantastic day out with the team. The journey out is half the fun. First boat cruise over Lake Manapouri could be a beautiful day trip on its own let alone the feeling lf driving through the mountains on wilmotts pass and the fantastic cruise on the sound. Preferred my trip to doubtful sound over Milford sound - was lucky to experience perfect Fiordland conditions with active rain which made for an amazingly impressive waterfall displays every way you looked
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 1 June 2023
  • Úna
    Belfast, United Kingdom6 contributions
    Spectacular scenery
    Spectacular scenery. Well worth the early rise and journey. We were initially booked onto the Milford Sound tour but it was cancelled due to road closure. Any initial disappointment quickly disappeared as we were in awe of the unspoiled scenery. Great tour guides too!
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 27 August 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
2,361 reviews
Excellent
1,967
Very good
284
Average
81
Poor
20
Terrible
9

Rhys P
11 contributions
Feb 2024 • Couples
Having now experienced the overnight cruise on one of the of the larger ships and now with Fiordland Expeditions I can honestly say that although I enjoyed our first trip this was definitely better! The crew were so friendly, we went fishing and caught and ate lobster. The kayaking was great. Just not enough superlatives to use!
Many thanks to all the crew for making this an unforgettable experience.
Written 26 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gill G
16 contributions
Feb 2024 • Couples
This was a completely unforgettable experience to be able to spend time in such a wild, inaccessible environment. Amazingly, we had dry sunny weather the entire time!
Everything about the RealNZ experience was superb. The staff, whether on the boat crossing the lake, the coach to Deep Cove or on the Navigator were very friendly, informative and approachable. Brock, the onboard naturalist, kept us well-informed. The food was amazing and plentiful. The Sound of Silence was so memorable.
Do this if you can!
Written 22 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rabih S
Sydney19 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
This trip takes about 12 hours. We were picked up at 6:55am and were dropped off at 7:30pm. Long day but worth the experience. Milford sound seems to be the favourite and popular amongst the visitors but I prefer Doubtful Sound. Both are equally majestic. Doubtful Sound is 421 metres larger than Milford Sound. However, Doubtful Sound total drive (return trip) is about 5 ½ hours where Milford Sound is about 9 ½ hours (round trip).

The total driving hours were 5 ½ hours.

Our driver from Real NZ, Bradley was a responsible driver, professional and he was very patient as he had to manage over 50 passengers. Not an easy task. I normally tip the drivers as you can appreciate the long driving they have to do and keep focused on the road.

Weather: We were in Queenstown in late November but temperatures were dropping to 10°C at night and during the day it goes up to 18°C. The locals have told us that summer in New Zealand starts in late January and temperatures do not go over 30°C.

Make sure to have a jacket and a cap.

The only suggestion I would like to point out to Real NZ is that if they can stop every 100 minutes (1 hour and 40 minutes) as this will give the passengers some opportunity to shake their legs and get some fresh air. This trip takes roads by the mountain side which means the roads are going to be winding (curvy roads). The road to Doubtful Sound is beautiful as you get an overdose of mountains, nature, lakes, fjords, sheep farms, cow farms, deer farms, horses. Absolutely stunning!

The trip starts with a 2-hour 45-minute drive from Frankton Road bus depot and it stops in Te Anau town. We then caught a medium sized boat to cross the Lake Manapouri (which was about a 30-minute boat ride). It would be a good idea to wear long pants or trousers as when the boat ride takes you across Lake Manapouri you will be experiencing several sand flies biting at your legs. The bites are similar to a mosquito bite but maybe a notch stronger. You then get on a bus for another 30 minutes where it will drop you off at your boat that will take you through the Doubtful Sound.

We saw some seals and a lot of waterfalls and mountains. Absolutely stunning!

Do not forget to wear pants or bring insect repellent to protect from those nasty sand fly bites on the other side of Lake Manapouri.
Written 16 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Paul B
Chesterfield, UK1,661 contributions
Jan 2024 • Family
This is a truly awesome place. The scenery is stunning and Real NZ provide an excellent tour. All worked like clockwork. A trip to remember . There are constant photo opportunities. I would suggest the early morning tour for maximum enjoyment. Highly recommended
Written 14 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Egan S
11 contributions
Jan 2024 • Family
135 people is a lot of people
Especially when the boats only have seats for maybe 100 ?

The sense of musical chairs for seven hours does have its drawbacks …

Like if you stop to use the bathroom … then you are unlikely to sit together on the bus
@ over $1700 for a family of five , 4 people not sitting together isn’t optimal

And once you lose seat roulette .. it will continue , no seats on the boat … no seats on the next boat etc

And if you travel to one of the most remote parts of the world … the relentless commentary becomes intrusive, can’t fault the enthusiasm.. but introducing the guide as the man the myth the legend .. misses the point
The legend is doubtful sounds not the sounds of the guides voice.
So we are here for the views … not the relentless noise that’s inaudible while you are standing holding onto a rail outside .

The views are awesome
The fiord also spectacular
The seals hardy little fellas, that was a highlight

But monopolies are dangerous … real nz has it all to themselves , so if you want to see doubtful sound … then they are it

If you want to see Milford sound you have many options and that competition shows

Southern discoveries in Milford was double the customer experience that Real Nz was

From our family of five doubtful sound is a five out of five , but real nz was a two .. as in toooo many .
So beware if the tour is at capacity and you are not prepared to trample your fellow human for position , you are likely to stand for large sections of the 7hrs and not sit together , that wasn’t optimal .
Written 10 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nomad65883490372
Bradford, UK8 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
Took an overnight trip. Very comfortable boat with plenty of room inside and lots of space outside to take in the spectacle appearing around you. We saw an abundance of waterfalls, penguins, seals and dolphins. Useful information imparted by the crew as we went along. Really good food.
Written 6 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

citygirlcountrygirl
Stillwater, MN119 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
We picked up the ferry from lake manapouri, a gorgeous trip all on its own. We were dropped off then took the tour bus to the bigger boat.
What an amazing experience! We had perfect weather and our guides and captain were able to show us the jaw dropping beauty of this natural wonder.
Written 15 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Elizabeth V
Washington, DC24 contributions
Nov 2023 • Friends
Outstanding experience with the one-night cruise with RealNZ. Just 40 other passengers besides our 3 adults on the Fiordland Navigator, which holds more than 70, so roomy. Simple small and comfortable cabins for a night, and nice variety of public spaces indoor and out. Small nature library, board games, coffee and tea available for down times, though we made little use of them: despite light rain on our first afternoon (Doubtful Sound gets rain 200 days/year), most ventured out kayaking or in tender boats, and some later to swim. Rain gear and warm change of clothes essential! Ventured out briefly to Tasman Sea where we saw Fiordland Crested Penguins and fur seals.

Highlights in the morning: A bit of sun and glass-like reflections of the peaks on the water, and a shared time of deep silence, with even the boat’s generators turned off. Highly memorable and recommended.

Very well done nature commentary by Dev, and accommodating staff. Food was plentiful, from hot scones on arrival to buffet dinner and breakfast. Reasonably well stocked cash bar.
Written 5 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Joel K
Vancouver, Canada3,577 contributions
Apr 2023 • Couples
The Real NZ two day cruise of the Doubtful Sound was fabulous. The boat, bus and then onto the vessel on the Doubtful was quite the adventure. Then the two plus days on the Fjord was amazing, magical and mysterious. we loved the staff interpreters and their level of knowledge. Food was very good. Great mix of activities and downtown to enjoy the Fjord.
Written 29 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dinerdoll
Norwich, UK52 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples
Picked up on time by Bruce (AKA PS) our driver. Large as life driver and tour guide, well informed loads of character and laughs. We knew the day was going to be good, coffee stop on way to Doubtful added to personalised attention to customer service. Arrived at boat fully informed on NZ history, geography and life (Bruce style). Once on boat which was clean and well staffed we set off for sound. Magical trip with excellent cometary and weather. Good value and magical day out. These guys are the real deal. Thanks Bruce you made our day. Still don’t think your Knick name as a PS is true 😂
Written 7 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Doubtful Sound (Te Anau) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Doubtful Sound

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