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Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Cruise from Manapouri
5
LIKELY TO SELL OUT*

Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Cruise from Manapouri

By RealNZ
Recommended by 96% of travellers
96% of reviewers gave this product a bubble rating of 4 or higher.
About
Experience the remote beauty of the Doubtful Sound on a full-day tour from Manapouri. Boat across Lake Manapouri, drive over Wilmot Pass, then transfer to a catamaran for your cruise on the sound. Look for New Zealand wildlife like bottlenose dolphins, fur seals, and penguins, and learn from your guide about this pristine wilderness in a less-visited part of Fiordland National Park.
from
$329.00
per adult
Lowest price guaranteeReserve now & pay laterFree cancellation

Ages 0-99, max of 135 per group
Duration: 7h
Start time: Check availability
Mobile ticket
Live guide: English
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Highlights
  • Relax aboard a catamaran cruise through stunning Doubtful Sound
  • Explore the rain forest and waterways of Fiordland National Park
  • Experience the South Island’s uncrowded wilderness and native wildlife
  • Several morning departure times to suit your New Zealand itinerary

  • Live commentary on board
What's not included
  • Food and drinks (available to purchase)
  • Alcoholic drinks (available to purchase)
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off

Start your tour with a short cruise across Lake Manapouri, followed by a drive over the Wilmot Pass, New Zealand’s most expensive road to build. Make stops along the way to experience the dense rain forest of Fiordland National Park and view Doubtful Sound from above.  Upon arrival at the water, board your spacious catamaran for the Doubtful Sound cruise. Your naturalist guide shares commentary about the landmarks and wildlife that you might see, including bottlenose dolphins, fur seals, and the rare Fiordland crested penguin. Depending on the conditions, you might even journey as far as the Tasman Sea. Choose from several morning departures for your tour to Doubtful Sound, a gorgeous destination that rivals popular Milford Sound for natural beauty, yet remains less crowded. Non-slip shoes, warm fleece or sweater, waterproof jacket, sun protection, and insect repellent are recommended. Your tour ends with return to Manapouri.

Departure details
  • 64 Waiau Street, Manapouri 9679, New Zealand Please be sure to arrive 20 minutes before your scheduled departure to check in.
Return details
  • Returns to original departure point

  • Not wheelchair accessible
If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 2264P28

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • It is recommended to wear comfortable shoes, warm clothing, and a rain jacket or hat, as necessary
  • Most travellers can participate
  • Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately
  • Please note: During survey the Patea Explorer will be substituted with another vessel from the RealNZ fleet
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 135 travellers

  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

How much is Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Cruise from Manapouri?
Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Cruise from Manapouri price starts from $341.97. Discover and book Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Cruise from Manapouri on Tripadvisor
What is the Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Cruise from Manapouri cancellation policy?
Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Cruise from Manapouri cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Cruise from Manapouri on Tripadvisor
Which company provides Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Cruise from Manapouri?
Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Cruise from Manapouri is hosted by RealNZ. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact RealNZ on Tripadvisor. Discover and book Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Cruise from Manapouri on Tripadvisor

If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 2264P28

Reserve your spot

Similar experiences

Itinerary
  • You'll start at
    64 Waiau Street
    64 Waiau Street, Manapouri 9679, New Zealand
    Please be sure to arrive 20 minutes before your scheduled departure to check in.
    See address & details
  • 1
    Doubtful Sound
    Stop: 3 hours
    Take in the scenery and wildlife aboard our comfortable catamaran. Our on board nature guides will be giving an informative commentary throughout the journey.
    Read more
  • You'll return to the starting point
+
About the operator
RealNZ
1,579
Manapouri, New Zealand

#2 of 3 Tours & Activities in Manapouri
  • Dunceboy
    Dunceboy
    0
    0
    If in doubt, book!
    Excellent trip. Warm welcome and well organised throughout. The boat ride across the lake was a lovely experience in itself; the cave visit was supplemented well by helpful and informative presentations.
  • raneale
    raneale
    0
    0
    Not to be Missed
    There are 3 parts to the Te Anau glow worm caves experience. One part is the boat ride over and back where you see some amazing scenery in all directions. Another part is the information session where you learn about both the cave system and the glow worms. And the third is the walk through the caves before boarding a punt that quietly drifts along while pinpricks of light can be seen on both sides and overhead, and eels and fish can be seen in some of the still ponds. All of that was absolutely fascinating, but for me it was the rushing and pounding of the river and its waterfalls that showed how the caves were made tens of thousands of years ago. The boat crew and tour guides were terrific. If I could give the trip 6 years I would.
  • PMarch
    PMarch
    0
    0
    Worth The Trip
    While rather a journey to get to Doubtful Sound, the scenery is well worth it. We had nice sunny weather which made for beautiful scenery and lots of wildlife. My favorite part was when they shut off the engines and 70+ strangers from all over the world put away their cameras/cellphones and just stood in silence for several minutes. It was really special to hear the bird calls and the gentle lapping of waves while surrounded by all that beauty. Everyone with the tour were great, friendly and full of information.
  • Scenic02620952376
    Scenic02620952376
    0
    0
    A surprisingly excellent all-day tour with all the info you need or want!
    Back in winter I undertook a coach and cruise tour to Milford Sound with RealNZ from Queenstown. It was a 13 hour mammoth effort that i'll be honest, I wasn't really looking forward to (for the travel time alone). But wow, how wrong could I have been. Aside from the obvious benefits and amazement that a tour to this spectacularly scenic location brings, hands down the single best thing about this tour was the obvious effort and expertise our bus driver guide, Pete, put in and was able to offer along the way. We started bright and early in the morning, but despite the early hour Pete was chock-full of engaging tales and interesting insights into everything from the local geography and geology, to the history of the region's founding and everything in between. The day seemed to whiz by with ease, and was capped off by a beautiful cruise through Milford Sound to end the afternoon in absolute glory. My solitary critique was that we were a little rushed at the Milford ferry terminal, but were loaded economically and efficiently onto the boat ready to depart just in time! An absolutely wondrous day, and thoroughly pleased I chose to opt for a tour rather than a self-drive option.
  • R8327OQginag
    R8327OQginag
    0
    0
    The Glow Worms are very unique!
    Many of our friends and family who have visited the TeAnau area said that seeing the glow worms was a Must-Do. We are glad we took this excursion as the worms certainly are unique; however, the number of worms we saw on our visit (late November) was not as expected. A recent event that flooded the caves is possibly the reason. Thomas was our guide and was very good and knowledgeable; however, being at the end of a 12-person group, there were times he was making a point and we were too far back to see or hear. James led the short video presentation at the center at the end of the tour. He was excellent! The film showed more about the worms than we knew and was very informative.
  • FunBoyOne
    FunBoyOne
    0
    0
    A coach too far
    Our travel agent booked this tour as part of our overall package and we probably didn’t pay sufficient attention. So Doubtful Sound is very scenic and the staff at RealNZ are very nice and helpful however, for us it was a bit too much travelling. If Queenstown is your first stop in New Zealand, the trip is probably worth it, however we had driven from the top of North Island to Queenstown and seen lots of great scenery on the way. We were picked up from our hotel at 0720 and the coach set off around 0745 to do a few more pickups before setting off around 0800. It’s a two hour drive to the lake with an extensive commentary and then 50 minutes across the lake for a 40 minute coach transfer across the southern alps to the cruise itself which then takes around 2.5 hours. We saw some seals and possibly some penguins. It’s worth noting that if you’re a nervous passenger the transfer is on a gravel road with a 1:6 gradient in part. You then travel back, arriving in Queenstown around 8pm. There was a good packed lunch as part of the package and the boat has a good selection of drinks and snacks, taking credit cards. In retrospect, we probably would have opted for the Milford sound tour as it’s more convenient.
  • L7153WEmichellem
    L7153WEmichellem
    0
    0
    Spectacular
    A Wonderful trip, a definite must do, those little worms are spectacular and the cave system is impressive. Thank you to ALL the crew, you are all doing an amazing Job. Our guide was Jess and she is terrific. Kind regards Michelle and Steve from 🇦🇺
  • Paradise33104664252
    Paradise33104664252
    0
    0
    Recommended
    Great experience- went with 2 teenagers they loved it - lots to see, great tour guide and loved that the groups into the cave weren't too large. It was a little cold on the afternoon we went but the boat was warm inside. Recommend if travelling to Milford Sound otherwise a little far out from Queenstown.
  • SpiritedAdventurer
    SpiritedAdventurer
    0
    0
    Natures treasures revealed
    This is an amazing trip. If you are claustrophobic, or scared of bridges then its not for you. A catanaran takes you across the lake to the Glowworm caves. You walk through caves (you have to bend down in some spots to walk through), and over powerful waterfalls (which could be unnerving). Eventually you get in a boat, and in complete darkness, you see the glow worms, while the guide directs the boat. Fabulous experience overall
  • garyrE4572WJ
    garyrE4572WJ
    0
    0
    Glowworms are great!
    A cool and unique experience. Staff were very friendly and had lots of interesting info on the caves and the glow worms. Be mindful that the entrance to the cave requires you to stoop quite low to enter. Could be an issue for someone with mobility impairments. Also, I would recommend you wear long trousers. I wore shorts and got eaten alive by the sand flies! Overall, a fun trip, fully recommended.
  • gopalb319
    gopalb319
    0
    0
    From Doubtful to Delightful
    My whole day cruise through Doubtful Sound was simply breathtaking. Thanks to the awesome weather, the journey offered stunning road views, though due to the journey's length, there were only a few photo stops along the way. Doubtful Sound itself was mesmerizing, a true natural wonder. Our tour guides, especially Ram, were both funny and knowledgeable, adding to the experience. I did feel tired at the end of the day, but I also felt accomplished. A day well spent!
  • KAJR
    KAJR
    0
    0
    The effort to ensure a smooth, informative and easy tour is impressive.
    The 25 minute speedboat trip to the caves was fast and informative, the splitting of the groups into 12 people done quickly and then straight onto a boat for our group. We were a little disappointed in the lack of glow worms but that is due to a recent flood of the caves. The tour guide was friendly, kind and helpful. Overall we thought it was a lovely trip that we were happy with and our 12 year old loved.
  • Neil_A1974
    Neil_A1974
    0
    0
    A lovely evening out to see a unique bit of nature not easily found anywhere else. Definitely worth going to see.
    A lovely experience a chance to see a unique part of nature in a wonderful place. The ride on the boat is smooth and gives you a great view of the local mountains, the caves are interesting and the worm viewing experience quite different. Worth going to.
  • Discover106253
    Discover106253
    0
    0
    Don't miss!
    Magical moments under the glow worms. Just as impressive was the underground tunnel system with rushing waters beneath us and towering rock cathedrals above. Really, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
  • Roddy M
    Roddy M
    0
    0
    Good experience
    It was a nice way to spend the evening, and walking around the caves was pretty cool. The tour guides were really helpful Visitors are not allowed to take photos or videos inside the caves (totally understandable), but the glowworms aren’t as bright as some of the photos might have you believe. They appear as tint little dots, and the number you see will vary.
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5.0
162 reviews
Excellent
134
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22
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Linda A
Peterborough, UK28 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
This was a lovely day out. Trip consisted of a 50 min (fairly fast) ride across Manapouri Lake. We then took a 50 min coach trip across land to the sound and our guide/driver Malcolm made some photo stops and provided interesting and amusing commentary on the way. We then had about 2 hours (?) on Doubtful. Stunning scenery. We caught it after rain so there were lots of falls and cascades to see. We went right to the sea to visit a colony of fur seals with their pups. Even on a calm dry day it was VERY blustery on deck and you’ll need a warm fleece and coat if you feel the cold.
Written 20 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

niamhs456
County Cork, Ireland577 contributions
Aug 2020
My husband and I did this tour recently and it was amazing . It is such a well run trip again from real journeys , they really know what they are doing . Its so easy to sit back and relax for the day on this trip . It starts with a 30 min or so ride to across manapouri lake which is lovely and the boat is super comfy . Then you have about 10 to 15 mins at the information centre across the island while the buses are prepped . Here there are some information stands about the area, the electric plant etc to read or you can wander slightly outside...though even in winter there are sandflies to watch for and of course there are bathrooms. Then its a 40 min coach trip to the next boat ride for the few hours on doubtful sound . this is a fantastic tour, so informative and relaxing in winter. The weather isnt like milford as its more overcast for sure and rainy but the boats are super warm and have abudant tea and coffee for free or some snacks ( most people bring there own food as it is advised as its a cash bar on the boat ) . You get heaps of time to wander the boat on all levels even to the front of these boats which is unusual to me but fantastic. the crew have heaps if knowledge and answer all questions with a smile.
A must do tour i cannot rave about it anymore !!!
Written 12 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SBPB2014
Hamilton, New Zealand50 contributions
Feb 2021
This has been one of the highlights of our holiday in the Queenstown area. We had the best of both weathers - the rain on the first day and sunshine the following day which showed us the many facets of this wondrous sound. We were able to explore the area in a small boat whilst it was raining and see nature at its finest with a helpful guide ( thank you Roo). What makes this so special is going into different parts or arms of the sound. The dinner and the breakfast were delicious and plentiful and the nature talk at night was most informative especially hearing the bird calls.
Thank you so much and this is definitely a must see.
The only criticism was when the driver was asked if masks were required on the bus taking us over Wilmot Pass we were told this was unnecessary as in down south there was no Covid danger.
Written 2 March 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Poppy T
Sydney, Australia170 contributions
Mar 2023
We did the Doubtful Sound tour starting in Te Anau which involved a short bus trip from Te Anau to Manapouri. We were wondering if this was the best option and quickly realised that it was, as it avoided the hassle of trying to find a parking spot from the jetty!
The tour takes you by fast ferry across Lake Manapouri, then by bus across to Doubtful Sound. The bus drivers are lots of fun and make that part of the process enjoyable.
Lake Manapouri itself is very scenic, but nothing compared to Doubtful Sound, the scenery and photo opportunities are pretty well non-stop.
There are two things which I highly recommend. Firstly, organise a lunch box through RealNZ, it is great value, with ample food and variety and there is nothing else available! Secondly, follow the requirements suggested by RealNZ when you book ie. make sure that you take insect repellent, the sandflies are vicious on arrival and departure of the Lake Manapouri ferry!
Written 24 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
RealNZsales
Thank you for joining our Doubtful Sound adventure and sharing your insights! Your suggestions are perfect for future guests.
Written 4 April 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

JayEdward
Florida80 contributions
Feb 2020
Per Kiwis, Doubtful Sound is better than Milford Sound and thus well worth the effort. Real Journeys makes it easy. We drove to Manapouri to get the first boat across Lake Manapouri where you then take a modern coach over the Wilmot Pass to board the vessel in Deep Cove for the three hours on Doubtful Sound. They also do pick ups in nearby Te Anau and elsewhere. If you drive yourself leave extra time to find parking. Also bring your own lunch or preorder one. Doubtful Sound is much bigger with more arms to it and much less traffic - we hardly saw other vessels while we were on Doubtful Sound. It also takes you all the way out to the Tasman Sea plus rare quiet time in a secluded cove where they shut the engines and drift for a time - magical.
Written 22 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Kia Ora Jay. Thank you very much for your 5 star review. Hearing the sounds of nature when the vessel's engines are off is often a highlight for our guests and we agree it is a magical experience. Enjoy the rest of your visit to our region. Kind Regards - The Team at Real Journeys.
Written 24 February 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Aug 2021
isiting Doubtful Sound was a bucket list item for me. I recently went aboard on one of Real Journey's new two-night/three-day cruises. I fully recommend the experience, as it was very relaxed and the length allowed us to experience a real variety of weather conditions.

Highlights of the trip were all of the wildlife we saw (mollymawks, dolphins, penguins), our nature guide Courtney who was exceptional and, as many reviewers point out, the food on board!

Over the course of the cruise we had the opportunity to explore every arm of Doubtful Sound, it was surprising how different each area of the fiord was. I would definitely do this trip again, I thought it was great value for money.
Written 31 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stephen
44 contributions
Feb 2020
This excursion starts with a cruise on Lake Manapouri, followed by a coach trip over the Wilmot Pass & then a 3 hr cruise on Doubtful Sound to the Tasman Sea.

This was a great excursion & the weather was good. The guides & the commentary were very interesting & informative & we thoroughly enjoyed this trip.
Written 3 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Local tourist
Tauranga54 contributions
Feb 2020 • Friends
This was a good day... its a little expensive and there should be cheaper rates for NZers taking tourists. The information and humour from the bus drivers was excellent. The information on the boat repeated what we had already heard and needed new info. Safety practice and food services were excellent. There were too many people on the boat making it difficult to get views. Doubtful Sound was incredible a must see in the Sth Is
Written 23 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kylie O
Mosgiel, New Zealand118 contributions
Excellent value for 7 hours of spectacular scenery. We are kiwis and have travelled overseas to many countries and done such tours. We get the price was fair in comparison to overseas experiences and the scenery was breathtaking! Good food and drinks available on board at doubtful sound leg. Only disappointment is was no coffee available for the early morning cruise at 6:30am- not ideal from out point of view to stand and look at a shut cafe with 80 people! Totally small blemish on a spectacular day trip. We’d like to do the overnight option next and would recommend it to locals and tourists.
Written 26 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
RealNZsales
For such an early start, coffee is always a good idea! We'll be sure to adjust our Manapouri Café hours once we get a few more RealNZ crew members. Thank you for this 5-star review. We all hope you have a fantastic new year!
Written 10 January 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

h2orev
Hadleigh, UK9 contributions
Mar 2020
We are so grateful that there is mobility parking right next to the terminal - something lacking in much of New Zealand! I could write a book on this subject but will spare you. The staff were very helpful on both boats and on the coach. All 3 parts of the journey were awe inspiring and the accompanying commentaries informative and humourless. This was our third time on Doubtful Sound and all have been so different. Would love to come again if it were not for our ages and the distance.
Written 15 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Kia Ora. It's fantastic to hear that this was your third visit to Doubtful Sound and that you were well looked after by our team. Thank you for taking the time to post your 5 star review and we hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday. Kind Regards - The Team at Real Journeys.
Written 16 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Cruise from Manapouri provided by RealNZ