There’s no doubt that this untouched wilderness is something truly remarkable.
Doubtful Sound is three times longer than Milford Sound and around ten times larger. It’s vast, imposing and full of wildlife – including a resident pod of bottlenose dolphins. Getting there is an adventure in itself with no direct road access; instead you travel by boat across Lake Manapōuri and coach over forest studded and waterfall coated Wilmot Pass to arrive at Deep Cove.
Real Journeys cruise
Doubtful Sound was named by Captain Cook in 1770 when he sailed past and was ‘doubtful’ of there being enough wind to manoeuvre his vessel in the narrow reaches. Twenty-three years later the outer reaches were eventually explored by Spaniard Alessandro Malaspina; hence the unique collection of Spanish names at various points within the Sound.
You can experience Doubtful Sound by boat or kayak. Real Journeys, who have been operating in Doubtful Sound for over 50 years, offer day and overnight cruises which include Lake Manapōuri and Wilmot Pass transport. Doubtful Sound Cruise also offers day cruises and Go Orange take visitors on multiday kayaking experiences.