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Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruises

Experience the spectacular, remote wilderness of Doubtful Sound on our guided day trip. Journey across Lake Manapouri, over the breathtaking Wilmot Pass and into the heart of Fiordland National Park. This is a must-do for nature lovers and explorers alike. 

  • Duration: 7 hours
  • Start with a cruise across Lake Manapouri, followed by a coach trip over the epic Wilmot Pass through Fiordland’s rainforest and into the Sound
  • A 3-hour cruise through the waterways of Doubtful Sound
  • Cruise onboard the Patea Explorer (Fiordland Navigator or M.V. Sinbad may substitute) 
  • Commentary by our knowledgeable Skipper
  • Wildlife viewing, including dolphins, fur seals and even occasionally penguins
  • Snacks and drinks are available for purchase. We recommend you bring your own packed lunch
  • Click "Book now" for more information on coach connections from Queenstown and Te Anau
  • From $199 per person


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More Information

More information about Doubtful Sound

Doubtful Sound is a beautiful fiord; three times longer than Milford Sound, it has a surface area ten times larger with twisting arms. With its rugged peaks, verdant rainforest and twisting, hidden inlets, Doubtful Sound will take your breath away.

There’s no direct road access, so the only way you can to get to Doubtful Sound is a cruise across the picturesque Lake Manapouri, followed by a bus trip over Wilmot Pass - New Zealand's most expensive (and majestic) road. We’ll pause along the way to experience the dense Fiordland rainforest and view Doubtful Sound glistening below. This isolation makes this fiord a very special place, only those in the know get to see.

Once you arrive, you will board the Patea Explorer for a 3 hour (approximately) cruise on Doubtful Sound - a spectacular pristine fiord. During the cruise, our knowledgeable and friendly skipper or nature guide will share with you their passion for the region. They’re always ready to answer questions, point out landmarks and provide all the information about the varied wildlife you may see, including dolphins, fur seals and the rare Fiordland crested penguin.

The M.V. Sinbad or Fiordland Navigator may replace the Patea Explorer if maintenance or schedules require. 

Things you should know

  • You’ll cruise across crystal clear Lake Manapouri to West Arm
  • A highlight is the coach trip through Fiordland’s rainforest and over Wilmot Pass
  • Your Skipper or guide will let you know all about the region's flora and fauna
  • Due to the multi-leg journey and floating wharf access, guests will need to have a reasonable level of mobility 
  • Doubtful Sound is in remote Fiordland, with no WIFI available, the perfect place to unplug and recharge

Extra information

  • Snacks are also available on board to purchase
  • Complimentary tea and coffee is available
  • The tour is suitable for all ages

Getting there

All our Doubtful Sound experiences start at our Visitor Centre, located at 64 Waiau St, Manapouri which is around 2.5 – 3 hours drive from Queenstown and 30 minutes from Te Anau. 

What to bring

Non-slip shoes/boots, waterproof jacket, warm sweater/fleece jacket, sunscreen/sunglasses, insect repellent and camera.

As this is a 7-hour adventure we highly recommend you bring a packed lunch. Limited snacks and drinks are available for purchase.


In case you haven't found the information you were looking for, we've put together some of the most common questions our customers ask about our trips. If you need more specific answers, please contact us directly.

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Our places. Our experiences. Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruises. The vastness of this untouched world will take your breath away as you experience its stunning beauty on our Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise.

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