While visiting New Zealand I heard about Doubtful Sound & Milford Sound, I did the 2hr cruise on Milford Sound and found it beautiful but when I saw pictures of Doubtful, I knew that I somehow had to fit it in my trip.
It was originally named Doubtful Harbour by Captain Cook in 1770 but then later renamed by whalers and sealers. Doubtful is a lot bigger than the famous Milford, it’s 40km to the sea compared to Milford’s 16km. Milford is also accessible by road meaning that there are a lot more tourists and a lot of tourist boats on the water.
I had a trip to the Real Journeys office and managed to book the overnight cruise. It was a lot more expensive than the Milford trip (in 2016 the price is $430 compared to $74 for the 2hr cruise in Milford), but I knew it was something I had to do.
On the day I was picked up in Queenstown and transferred to Manapouri where you take a short cruise across Lake Manapouri which itself is stunning.
We then boarded a coach to take us across the Wilmot pass and to where we would pick up our boat for the cruise around Doubtful. The scenery here was stunning, there were beautiful waterfalls and we stopped at the top of the pass to get our first look of Doubtful, what an amazing site. It was an amazing clear day, not many people get to see this view when they visit Doubtful as often its shrouded in clouds, we were so lucky.
If they had told us at this point that it was the end of the trip, then this view alone would of been worth the money, I had completely fallen in love with it.
We got to the dock and boarded the Fiordland Navigator our boat for the trip, I was in a small 4 bed dorm room, tight for space but we would only be sleeping there and I then went on deck for a cup of tea before we set sail.
There are three distinct arms of Doubtful Sound and we set off from Deep Cove to explore these.
The scenery was stunning and after a few hours we finally reached the sea 40km away from where we had started the day. We saw seals sunbathing on the rocks and we then circled round and started heading back inland.
We stopped after a little bit and the crew got out the kayaks so we could do a kayak trip closer to the shore, this was great fun, I love kayaking so I was one of the first out there.
After our kayak trip it was back on the boat for a shower and change before dinner. First we went outside to see sunset and take some more pictures of the stunning scenery.
After dinner we got an early night as we would be up early the next morning (6am) to start our journey back to Deep Cove. The views this morning were spectacular and we were also lucky to see the Fiordland Crested penguins. They are one of the rarest of New Zealand’s mainland penguins and the breeding season had finished so they are not normally in the area in December.
Once we got back to shore it has back on the bus to cross the pass before getting the ferry back from the lake. This was one of my favourite trips in New Zealand and one I will never forget. Yes it might be a bit expensive but it’s worth getting the credit card out and splashing out, it’s simply stunning.
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Find out about Why I started travelling here, Miami Beach here, Key West here, Everglades here, Bolton Abbey here, Naples here, Koh Tao here, Yangon – Myanmar here, Ischica – Italy here, Koyasan – Japan here, Machu Picchu – Peru here, Memphis here, Faro – The Algarve here, Fiji – South Sea Island here & Egypt – My trip in a hot air balloon here
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