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“Overnight was great ”
Review of Real Journeys

Real Journeys
Ranked #2 of 7 things to do in Manapouri
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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. Queenstown and Te Anau coach connections available. Daily departures, all year.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed November 5, 2015 via mobile

We had a fantastic time cruising the spectacular sound with great food and drinks. The on board, bus driver and all staff help and commentary was really good too. We saw great wildlife including whales and awesome scenery. Just a pity they let other tourists in too!

Date of experience: November 2015
Thank IDB1986
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"wilmot pass"
in 83 reviews
"across lake manapouri"
in 76 reviews
"doubtful sound"
in 403 reviews
"day trip"
in 80 reviews
"tasman sea"
in 75 reviews
"overnight cruise"
in 121 reviews
"the bus"
in 113 reviews
"fiordland navigator"
in 31 reviews
"new zealand"
in 81 reviews
"te anau"
in 70 reviews
"west arm"
in 18 reviews
"complete silence"
in 10 reviews
"fur seals"
in 40 reviews
"packed lunch"
in 27 reviews
"nature guide"
in 32 reviews
"quad share"
in 9 reviews
"seal colony"
in 13 reviews
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323 - 327 of 815 reviews

Reviewed November 3, 2015

We went on both the 2-hour Milford Sound nature cruise and the 22-hour overnight Doubtful Sound cruise. We had fabulous warm sunny weather for both, so in our case the overnight cruise gave us more to enjoy than the nature cruise (but BOTH were great).

We drove 2 hours from Queenstown in our rental car on easy roads in plenty of time to make the noon departure. Once aboard, we were happy to see there were no sand flies at all- hooray! My sister and I are prone to motion sickness, so we put on scopolamine patches and completely enjoyed the trip, although the only rough water was outside the mouth of Doubtful Sound in the Tasman Sea. There were 3 meals: afternoon muffins, buffet dinner, and buffet breakfast- all great. The toilet facilities were handy, and our sleeping quarters were a private room with 4 bunk beds- surprisingly comfortable. At night we anchored, and the ship was quiet.

A naturalist on board kept us informed about the geology, forests, birds, and aquatic mammals. Right away we had a pod of about 50 dolphins jumping at the bow! We saw fur seals, blue penguins, and fjordland penguins close to the sea. We took a tender craft out to examine the coastline vegetation, some people kayaked in the sunshine, others jumped into the 11-degree water for a swim, and we had a hour-long conservation slide-show after dinner. We had a beautiful full moon shining down on us at night, the stars were gorgeous, and the morning sunrise showed still, mirror-like water reflecting the green steep mountains. An hour before we concluded the tour, we had a 10-minute moment of complete silence (which everyone honored) with engines off- in an area of amazing beauty. I'll remember that as very special.

To get to this cruise, you have to check in at Manapouri, cross Lake Manapouri in a transfer boat, hop onto a bus, and drive a bit to get to the Real Journeys dock on Doubtful Sound. You do this in reverse on the way back. It's a bit fiddly, but appropriate for the remote location and was expertly handled. We all had a WONDERFUL, MEMORABLE, BUCKET-LIST time.

Date of experience: October 2015
1  Thank Raelene L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2015

Absolutely excellent. A very slick well organised operation. Good boat, good cabin, good food, great staff and of course who could fault the location.
Well done to Real Journeys.
,

Date of experience: October 2015
1  Thank CarolCrowthorne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2015 via mobile

I have had the pleasure of previously doing a day trip (1990), overnight (2007) and the overnight again this week. Just an amazing tour company to tour with. Doubtful Sound undoubtably surpasses Milford Sound that I have also done day trip on. The buffet dinner and breakfast were superb and the crew exceptional. Sim's knowledge of the environment is exceptional. Thank you all.

Date of experience: October 2015
Thank 368margaretb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 27, 2015

Doubtful is best experienced during a downpour, I know what your thinking, the problem is rainfall drives all the "waterfalls", so on a clear day, yet you get nice clear views but only on rainy days do you get the amazing waterfalls. But the company itself goes out of their way to make the cruise memorable, its quite a journey, not easy to get to doubtful sound like Milford is, and Doubtful is 100% better than Milford rain or not.

Date of experience: October 2015
Thank RobBas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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