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Doubtful Sound, New Zealand

Very different to Milford Sound is the peacefulness of Doubtful Sound, often called the "Sound of Silence". At over 400 metres deep, Doubtful Sound is New Zealand's deepest fiord, and winds through Fiordland National Park for over 40 kms - three times longer than Milford Sound. Captain James Cook first named the fiord "Doubtful Harbour" on his first visit in 1770; however this was later changed to "Doubtful Sound" by the many sealers and whalers that visited the fiord.

You can experience Doubtful Sound on a full day excursion from Manapouri, with connections available from Te Anau (20 minutes) or Queenstown. The tours start with short boat trip from Pearl Harbour at Manapouri across beautiful Lake Manapouri to West Arm. From here you take a very scenic coach ride over Wilmot Pass to Deep Cove for the start of your cruise on Doubtful Sound.

Doubtful Sound, New Zealand has many magnificent waterfalls that crash down into the fiord below. In Doubtful Sound, as in all the other fiords, the fresh water that cascades down the mountain sides, settles as a layer of fresh water on the top of the sea water underneath. Because daylight has difficulty penetrating the two layers, due to refraction of the sunlight; and also due to the depth of Doubtful Sound; the fiord is home to many strange flora, fauna, fish and marine creatures including black coral. Keep your eyes open, and you may well see New Zealand Fur Seal, Bottlenose Dolphin, or the rare Fiordland Crested Penguins.

Another great way to see Doubtful Sound is on an overnight cruise with a nature guide. The boat includes en-suite cabins, and all meals. You have time to explore by sea kayak, while anchoring over night in one of the many small bays and inlets.

Alternatively there are a number of sea kayak operators that allow you to explore Doubtful Sound, either on a day guided sea kayaking, or on overnight expeditions. You will have plenty of time to take in the silence and peace that is Doubtful Sound.