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“Quite an adventure”

Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Cruises – Real Journeys
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Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise from Te Anau or Manapouri
Ranked #1 of 7 things to do in Manapouri
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Cruise across island-studded Lake Manapouri and coach over Wilmot Pass. Then explore Doubtful Sound on a three-hour cruise with our nature guide on board the modern catamaran the Patea Explorer. Wildlife sightings are likely to include dolphins, seals and penguins. Discover the 'sound of silence', rugged peaks and explore the waterways of this serene and isolated fiord. Manapouri Underground Power Station visit included (on selected departures). Queenstown and Te Anau coach connections available. Daily departures, all year.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Vernon, Connecticut
Level Contributor
265 reviews
170 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Quite an adventure”
Reviewed October 8, 2013

We had originally booked a Milford Sound tour. However, the road to Milford was closed due to an avalanche. We switched to Doubtful Sound. Real Journeys certainly can't control the weather. The tour was fully booked as anyone who could, switched to Doubtful that day. A very well run, professional organization. It rained and rained our day there, and also had high winds. As a result we did get to see dozens of temporary waterfalls which were awesome. We did get glimpses of the surrounding mountain scenery. Nice crossing of Lake Manapouri. On the bus ride to Doubtful, the bus driver mentioned that if the rain continued, we would have an interesting crossing of one river later that day on the return trip. Well, it was. We had to wait about 30 minutes on the boat at the end of the tour before being allowed on the bus. Then, at the river we had to wait about an hour for the water to go down enough for us to safely cross. Very obvious safety comes first with Real Journeys. They were making plans to have sea planes come in and get us if needed. There is free coffee and tea on board. We did purchase lunch on board, and it was fine. When we return, hopefully in a couple of years, we will take Real Journeys to Milford based on our experience at Doubtful.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank Eugene F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Amazing Doubtful Sound”
Reviewed October 7, 2013

WOW!!!!!!! Words are almost superfluous, certainly one of the most amazing experiences in all our travels!!
The professionalism of the team from Real Journeys, from the coach transfers, pick you up at the door of your motel at 11.00a.m., there they were , to the packed picnic lunch for our trip across Lake Manapouri, to the obvious care taken in the coach trip across Wilmott Pass and we haven't even got on board our home for the night, all were first class!!! Then the boat trip amongst some of the most amazing scenery the world has to offer, the crew were again fantastic, nothing seemed too much trouble, the food was good, but when it's all said and done the scenery is the reason we were all there, and it didn't disappoint. Low hanging clouds, sheer peaks straight up from the waters edge, deep sombre brooding landscape. INCREDIBLE!!!

Visited September 2013
Thank peterandheike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
22 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Amazing day out”
Reviewed October 1, 2013

We were trying to decide between Milford Sound and Doubtful sound. We chose doubtful sound because of the full day experience instead of the Milford 2 hour cruises and we were so glad we did. The boat, the staff and the experience was amazing and exactly what we were after, more than just a boat trip. Seeing the rainforest as well as Lake Manapouri as well as being out there for the whole day gave a true sense of perspective. We saw the seals and penguins as well as the continuous amazing scenery. It is truly mind blowing for hours on end.
The Doubtful sound cruise is more expensive than the Milford cruise but really worth the money, probably the highlight of our trip to NZ. The staff were friendly but not obtrusive and the day very well organised with good times for lunch etc. There was also a tour of the hydroelectric underground power station which we had no real interest in but it turned out to be a great part of the trip also.
The only downside of the trip was they had no credit card facilities on board and we had forgotten our NZ cash so could not buy snacks etc for the kids. The staff did however give them a free hot chocolate which they loved.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank 6TP2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Comfortable cruise, friendly staff, amazing view”
Reviewed September 25, 2013

It was good sunny day when we went to Doubtful Sound. We stopped at Wilderness for a while, then cruised across Lake Manapouri before continued with bigger cruise to Doubtful Sound. We saw penguins, dolphins, seals. On the way back, we visited the amazing power plant inside the mountain. Coach and cruise are well maintained, there's meal to purchase but you can bring your own food and drinks. Not forget to mention....amazing view all they way long spoiled our eyes...

Visited September 2013
Thank Christine T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gold Coast
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Overnight cruise - Highlight of my trip!”
Reviewed September 23, 2013

ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! All Real Journeys Staff were amazing! The Fiordland Navigator (overnight cruise ship) is beautifully maintained, with very comfortable and clean double cabins with ensuites. The dining room and viewing saloon are warm and comfortable, but you really want to be out on deck with Josh the nature guide - so much to see & take in! Sure, it was absolutely freezing, but the views: mist shrouded mountains, rainbows, snow-capped peaks are incredible. By 2pm it seemed we were the only boat in the fiord. An afternoon of kayaking was the highlight of my whole trip to NZ. Plenty of wildlife to see, and Josh's pleasant and extremely informative commentary really made for an interesting experience. As others have said, the "Sound of silence' moment is really special - particularly as it was gently snowing in "Hall Arm" for us. Just MAGIC! All the food was of excellent quality - and there certainly was plenty of it! All the staff were excellent, with special mentions to Josh (Nature Guide), our Captain, Warren, Barbara and Richard, who were all very impressive, and helped make our trip so special. The bus trip over the Wilmot pass and the ferry journey over Lake Manapouri were also fantastic. I cannot recommend this trip highly enough. I can't wait to come back!

Visited September 2013
Thank GoldCoastAA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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