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Recommended experiences in and around Manapouri
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All reviews wilmot pass across lake manapouri doubtful sound day trip tasman sea overnight cruise the bus fiordland navigator new zealand te anau west arm complete silence nature guide fur seals packed lunch quad share seal colony
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Reviewed September 2, 2014

I traveled with real journey ytd on the overnight cruise. Having been to both milford and doubtful, I must say doubtful is certainly one of the hidden treasure of nz. The crew of rj were extremely knowledgeable and were very keen in making your stay comfortable. We encoutner dolphins, seals and penguins in the trip. The 2 km kayaking along the sound was allowed in doubtful, I enjoyed it very much. You will also be very well fed on the cruise. This is a cruise you must not miss in the south island.

Date of experience: September 2014
Thank benyaap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2014

Even though it was raining most of the time got some great shots of some beautiful waterfalls. The cruise offered coffee and tea to have a more enjoyable ride.

Date of experience: January 2014
1  Thank KarinEmma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2014

We took the full-day Doubtful Sound cruise with Real Journeys in early May, on a cold autumn day with thickish fog in the morning, weak sun at times, cloud and some drizzle – and the experience far exceeded our expectations. We were on the full day cruise because my husband wanted to visit the Manapouri underground power station, and we were unable to take a part-day cruise as the summer season had finished. How fortunate we in fact were! Our day was broken up into a serious of stunning segments: the small boat cruise across Lake Manapouri to West Arm; the scenic bus drive with its ascent and descent over the Wilmot Pass; and then the atmospheric cruise on Doubtful Sound itself. Highlights here were spotting penguins, seals, albatross; approaching the Tasman Sea and circling Nee Island; and, standing outside in Crooked Arm, the total silence, with engines and voices stilled. The journey in reverse provided different vistas – and the interest not only of the power station itself, but of being in the bus as it descended, turned around, and made its way back up. All the crews were excellent, very knowledgeable and providing interesting commentary at appropriate times, and organisation of the whole day was smoothly, unobtrusively efficient. Highly recommended – and do take the full day excursion!

Date of experience: May 2014
Thank Judy O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2014

I would highly recommend going on the day cruise to Doubtful Sound. The whole day was excellent - it included a cruise across Lake Manapouri, a bus journey across the Wilmot Pass, the breath taking cruise along Doubtful Sound and visit to the power station. Our family of four went in winter and shared the boat with 16 other people. We had plenty of room to move around and take some excellent photos. We had a picture perfect clear sunny day. We saw the bottle nose dolphins, blue penguins, rare crested penguins and the fur seals located in the Tasman Sea. Our nature guide Justin was very knowledgable. We loved the silent section on the cruise and the reflections on the water. Definitely a must do when in New Zealand!

Date of experience: August 2014
2  Thank Melanie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2014

9.45 am - 5.15 pm trip and every minute enjoyable. Due to it being the low season and not so many visitors about, the boat was probably 25% full, (no suggestion though that they may cancel the trip - quite the contrary, said we would enjoy even more). If you haven't ordered a packed lunch there is an opportunity to buy food in the shop before you leave the harbour and complimentary tea/coffee available on board, as well as snacks to purchase. Start with a cruise across Lake Manapouri, which in itself is very enjoyable and a good start to the day, (toilets on board both vessels). Coach transfers you along the Wilmot Pass, through the trees and the driver gives an excellent commentary on the history of the area. After alighting from the coach you have the opportunity to read all about the building of the Manapouri Underground Power Station, before boarding the catamaran for the journey to Doubtful Sound.

Dolphins suddenly appeared in the distance. The captain explained that they do not try to seek out the dolphins or encourage them to follow the boats, all left to absolute chance, which made the encounter so much more enjoyable. Also saw a few penguins - just starting to arrive in the area. The scenery, clarity of the air and absolute beauty of the area are memorable - you may have seen the pictures but actually being there and experiencing it first hand was a privilege. If you are undecided on where to visit in NZ, I suggest this be your choice. We were the only boat on the waters the whole trip.

On return coach trip a worthwhile and interesting stop at the Power Station - the coach drives underground to the facility, stops and you walk to a viewing area within the station, looking at the seven turbines. Interesting pictures / info to look at and marvel at the engineering skills.

All the staff very helpful, knowledgeable and obviously enjoy their work.

Date of experience: August 2014
4  Thank 97Review97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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