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Doubtful Sound vs Milford Sound (overnight cruise)

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
494 posts
24 reviews
Doubtful Sound vs Milford Sound (overnight cruise)

We have done a an overnight cruise on Milford Sound many years ago and it was indeed enjoyable.

As we will be visiting the region again in the summer, would you recommend us to do Doubtful Sound overnight cruise ?

How different are the 2 fiords ?

I have read that the sceneries at Milford Sound are more dramatic than Doubtful Sound, not sure if this is true.

If so, is it still worthwhile to spend 2 days for the overnight cruise in Doubtful Sound ?

Thanks.

6 replies to this topic
Nelson-Tasman...
Level Contributor
9,335 posts
474 reviews
1. Re: Doubtful Sound vs Milford Sound (overnight cruise)

Definitely definitely definitely do an overnight on Doubtful. I way preferred Doubtful overnight cruise to Milford overnight. Doubtful is way more moody, immense, and bigger. It doesnt have the dramatic cliffs, but it does have vastness mountains, stunning tranquility and isolation and beauty. the two are quite different, and doubtful sound still rates as one of my favourite things to do in NZ

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
30,233 posts
93 reviews
2. Re: Doubtful Sound vs Milford Sound (overnight cruise)

If you have the time then yep, Doubtful overnight is magical.

However if pushed for time then give it a miss.

What else is on your wish list? Given your previous visit I would place a night or two on Stewart Island over doing another fiord.

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
494 posts
24 reviews
3. Re: Doubtful Sound vs Milford Sound (overnight cruise)

Thank for the prompt replies.

Yes, may consider Stewart Island, though it is not exactly on the way for us.

The main focus of our trip this time is the Marlborough region and north (Wellington, Hawkes Bay etc.)

However, we decided to do a detour to Queenstown / Wanaka again on this trip as it is absolutely beautiful there.

Hence the idea of a cruise along Doubtful Sound came up :)

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
30,233 posts
93 reviews
4. Re: Doubtful Sound vs Milford Sound (overnight cruise)

Stewart Island is only a little further than Doubtful Sound.

1 drive to Manapouri

2 overnight cruise

3 return from overnight cruise, drive to ?

1 drive to Invercargill or Bluff, ferry or fly to SI

2 explore

3 ferry or fly back, drive to ?

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
494 posts
24 reviews
5. Re: Doubtful Sound vs Milford Sound (overnight cruise)

Thanks WLnz.

Will discuss the Stewart island option with my travelling partners.

For some reason or other, I recall having visited Invercargill and Bluff during our previous trip, but never made it to the island !!!!

Can't remember the reason.....

Cheers.

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
30,233 posts
93 reviews
6. Re: Doubtful Sound vs Milford Sound (overnight cruise)

Most visitors, and many Kiwi's skip Stewart Island, partly due to lack of time.

It really is a magical place for it's birdlife, kiwi in the wild and isolation.

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