Located in and easily the second-largest fiords of Fiordland National Park of New Zealand Doubtful Sound is a destination that will overwhelm and intrigue any nature lover with its wilderness and natural beauty. This fjord is one of the 14 that form the interiors of the Fiordland National Park and can hold you spellbound with its mystic beauty.
Cruising through it has become the most happening things people like to do in New Zealand. Why? The waters are deep and the wind is perfect. Add to this the fact that fjord is bigger and longer than the popular Milford Sound and you have an idyllic cruising destination. In any case driving to this fjord is not possible, you have to take a boat cruise to approach it.
There’s a certain historical and mythical mystery that wraps itself around the waters of Doubtful Sound. It was in 1770 that James Cook, an English explorer sailed here. He did so rather reluctantly, doubting that his sails would get enough wind to return to open sea. It’s believed that the place was created by the Maori god Tu Te Raki Whanoa with help of four sea gods and it shelters in its massive and serene arms.
For the ardent photographer Doubtful Sound offers some breathtaking landscapes to capture. A longer stay can take you straight to the wildlife habitats. The marine wildlife here has adapted to the unusually distinct layers of water in Doubtful Sound with sea water flowing on the lower layers in depth and so you can find the top water layer being fresh water encouraging land-based wildlife. At the same time the darker depths of the fjord have heavy saline water where you’d find a plethora of deep-sea species.
The fjord is still very welcoming to anyone who’s looking for some peaceful quiet while also getting a dose of cruising fun. Many book a cruising boat that has a nice viewing deck, private or shared accommodation. Kayaking to the fjord is another option and you can start off from Queenstown, Manapouri or Te Anau. Some people like to do a touch and go by taking a cruise only for the day but this lets you spend just about 5-6 hours in the area. An overnight trip lets you enjoy the best of Doubtful sound. You can wake up to the delightful sight of watching playful dolphins chasing your boat along its path or spot penguins basking in the sun as you approach the shores!
These waters are perfect for bottlenose dolphins and you can spot dolphins moving in groups through them. Also watch out for the humpback whale, and several other whale species apart from fur seals. What’s more Doubtful Sound is one of the sites where Fiordland Penguins breed so get ready to come up close with huge groups of penguins along the shore. Really if you have to visit New Zealand planning a trip to Doubtful Sound works well for getting you straight into the country’s heart and making the most of what it has to offer!