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Why Doubtful Sound is the best place to recharge in winter

Date: 4 July 2022

Winter can be harsh, but here in Fiordland, we prefer to think of it as revitalising. What most people hide from (the elements generally), we embrace, and we’re thankful for it. Without it, we wouldn’t leave winter feeling recharged, refreshed, and reconnected with nature. We reckon one of the best ways to embrace the elements this winter and feel amazing is on a Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise. We’ll explain why…

Two Nights of Peace

Have you ever stepped off a Milford or Doubtful Sound’s Day Cruise, unwilling to leave the place behind, like a toddler about to have a tantrum? Well, we have a cure for that, and it comes in the form of staying aboard the Fiordland Navigator.  Incredibly complex, extensive, and immersive, a winter visitor has two nights to explore the ins and outs of Doubtful’s many arms, nooks, and crannies. It’s the crème de la crème of Fiordland’s experiences, where each morning you can live and breathe the fresh Fiordland air, waking up to the peace of completely uninhabited land. Having no phone signal for a couple of days has never been so appealing.

Year-Round Wildlife

We recently spoke to a captain of one of our cruises, and they believed winter was the best time to come to Fiordland for seeing wildlife. Dolphins, seals, and penguins all are just as present in winter as they are in summer. Plus, a longer cruise means more time to spot more wildlife. Now’s your chance to have that unreal moment, catching a dolphin leap out of the water in front of you.

Comfort Food

Being on board does give you an opportunity to be hands free of your phone for a couple of days. But make no mistake, you’ll replace it with a mug of hot chocolate and a camera. Take advantage of our unlimited supplies of tea and coffee. We reckon that days don’t start better than when snuggling into a cuppa, watching a crisp morning unfold before you throughout the fiord. The kitchen leaves you chocka full, with breakfasts, morning and afternoon teas, lunches and dinners cooked by the on-boat chef so you’ll always be well-fed! 


Our motto may as well be ‘clear sky at night, tourists delight’. Winter means shorter days, which means longer nights, which gives our visitors a magical time stargazing. Trust me, you’re going to want to spend as long as possible lying on that top deck in your comfies, getting absorbed into the atmosphere. Time spent looking at the stars disconnects us from material things which matter less, and reconnects us to our thoughts, feelings and values.

Top Tip. Bring binoculars to get a better view of the stars, and also bring slippers. This boat will be your home for two days and can be enjoyed to its max when having cosy feet huggers.

Water is Your Friend

Whether it be snow, sleet or rain, you want it there in buckets-full on your trip to Doubtful Sound. Mountains look epic covered in snow, rain feeds the waterfalls so they’re spilling from every chasm and gives the air a fresh dampness that makes the interior of the boat even cosier. Rain is regenerative in more ways than one. Who ever slept badly from listening to the rain patter on their window?

Doubtful’s silence, its stillness, the wildlife, and the utterly amazing environment gives us all much-needed regeneration this winter. You can book your winter Doubtful Sound escape here.

Boat docks of the night in Doubtful Sound with snow-capped mountain

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