Renowned for its 'sound of silence.' Doubtful Sound is a pristine wilderness known for its rich flora and fauna. New Zealand Fur Seals and Fiordland Crested Penguins can be seen on many of the small islets in the entrance of the fiord, while lush rainforest lines the steep cliffs. At 421 metres deep Doubtful is the deepest of the fiords. Long and winding with three distinct 'arms'. It covers a distance of 40 kilometres from deep cove to the sea.
From Pearl Harbour, Manapouri, you cruise across picturesque Lake Manapouri to West Arm and then travel by coach over Wilmot Pass through dense rainforest. There are opportunities along the way to examine plant life and view the spectacular scenery.
Once at Doubtful Sound you board the catamaran, Commander Peak, for a 3 hour cruise of beautiful Doubtful Sound to the Tasman Sea. On board, there is excellent viewing of waterfalls, rainforest and mountains. Of particular interest, if sighted, are fur seals basking on the rocks, or a resident pod of bottlenose dolphins. Rare Fiordland crested penguins are sometimes encountered in the right season. An interesting onboard commentary keeps you informed and on the return journey, the vessel's engines are turned off and visitors are treated to the Sound of Silence'.
Your Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise begins with a scenic cruise across the beautiful Lake Manapouri. Once there your coach driver will collect you for your ride over the Wilmot Pass to meet your vessel the TUTOKO II, your home for the next day.
Welcomed aboard by friendly crew with a glass of bubbly the mood is set. Then your off to discover the many jewels Doubtful Sound has to offer. With Tawaki (Fiordland Crested Penguins), Kekeno (NZ Fur Seals) and Bottle-nose Dolphins to amuse all encompassed by breathe-taking vistas rising steeply from the depths of the fjords to the summits high above; the scenery and wildlife will undoubtedly leave you in complete awe.
You'll be fishing for your dinner whilst the crew retrieve lobster for your plate. The food is plentiful with a local flavour; the freshest seafood you will ever experience for sure! Then there's kayaking for the adventurous for that up-close personal experience. Or you can simply sit back with a book and relax with a nice wine.
At Manapouri you will board a scenic cruise across Lake Manapouri (45 min cruise) to West Arm. At West Arm you will see the above ground sections of the Manapouri Power Station, an underground hydroelectric power station which is capable of generating up to 850 MW using water from Lakes Te Anau and Manapouri. It is the largest hydroelectric power station in New Zealand. At West Arm you will meet your crew, who will take you by courtesy bus over the Wilmot Pass where you will capture breathtaking vistas of Doubtful Sound and the surrounding mountains. You will arrive at the Southern Secret and Doubtful Sound around midday, welcome refreshments will be served as you begin to explore the environs of Doubtful Sound such as Hall Arm, Crooked Arm, Bradshaw Sound and more, all the while keep watch for inhabitants such as bottlenose dolphins, penguins sea birds and seals. Onboard the Southern Secret, your Doubtful Sound Overnight adventure includes sightseeing and exploring the history and splendor, pause at features for photographs and to observe marine mammals, cast a line for fishing, check our crayfish traps and savour the spectacular scenery and wildlife. Conditions allowing, the skipper will select locations for fishing, and placing "pots" to capture Fiordland Lobster. Cruises may include a visit to the entrance of Doubtful Sound where, you may visit the Shelter Islands, home to a colony of Southern Fur Seals. Typical overnight anchorages in Doubtful Sound include Crooked Arm, First Arm, Hall Arm and Precipice cove in Bradshaw Sound or on the eastern tip of Secretary Island. The MV Southern Secret caters exclusively for 12 passengers who are seeking a personalised style of cruise. Each cabin includes its own private en suite and the cruise includes a picnic lunch and dinner on day one and breakfast on the second day.
This one day sea kayaking adventure is a truly unique way to experience just a taste of what this remote wilderness has to offer. A full day out with an experienced guide and small group of kayakers, you will explore Deep Cove, Rolla Island & over to Olphert Cove and return.
Paddle amidst lush rain forest and waterfalls, looking up at the towering cliffs from water level, a truly amazing sight. Penguins, seals and dolphins are sometimes encountered and bird song breaks the stillness as you paddle along the shoreline.
The day involves approximately three hours kayaking in this remote Fiordland wilderness.