Doubtful Sound, New Zealand
Located on the southwest coast of New Zealand’s picturesque South Island, Doubtful Sound is one of the country’s most popular cruise destinations.
Part of the spectacular Fiordland National Park, Doubtful Sound measures around 40 kilometres in length, which is 3 times that of the nearby Milford Sound. Nicknamed the ‘Sound of Silence’, the imposing fiord is characterised by its towering peaks, tranquil waters, spectacular waterfalls, ancient vegetation and an atmosphere of solitude. At 421 metres in depth, it is the deepest of all the region’s fiords.
An area rich in native wildlife, Doubtful Sound is home to an abundance of marine species including a population of bottlenose dolphins, fur seals, penguins and many other sea creatures.
Doubtful Sound is typically a cruise-by destination. It features on the itineraries of many ships traveling around New Zealand’s South Island all year round.
Part of the 1.2 million hectare Fiordland National Park, Doubtful Sound is nestled into the southwest coast of New Zealand’s South Island. It is located around 100 kilometres south of Milford Sound and 40 kilometres north of Dusky Sound.
Doubtful Sound is a cruise-by destination, and as such it does not have a dedicated port or terminal for cruise ships.
How to Get Around
Doubtful Sound typically features on the itineraries of cruise ships touring New Zealand’s South Island. On the mainland there is no direct road access to Doubtful Sound, making it an ideal destination for cruise ships.
- Currency - the local currency in Doubtful Sound is the New Zealand Dollar. Coins come in 10, 20 and 50-cent denominations, as well as 1 and 2-dollar coins. Notes come in 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100-dollar denominations.
- Time Zone - Doubtful Sound uses New Zealand Standard Time (NZST), which is 12 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+12). From October to March the area uses New Zealand Daylight Time (NZDT), which is 13 hours ahead (UTC+13).
- Weather - Doubtful Sound experiences a cool to moderate climate all year round, with lots of rain. Average temperatures range from 19 degrees Celsius in January to 9 degrees Celsius in July.
- Deep Cove - one of the most remote parts of Doubtful Sound, Deep Cove extends 32 kilometres from the mouth of the Sound. Home to several stunning waterfalls including Helena Falls and Lady Alice Falls, Deep Cove is a place of natural splendor. Inhabiting the cove is a number of dolphins, birds and other native wildlife.
- Browne Falls - Browne Falls is the highest, and one of the most spectacular, waterfalls in New Zealand. Created by an overflowing of Lake Browne some 836 metres above sea level, the waterfall cascades down to the fiord near Hall Arm. Travelling down the mountainside in a series of gradual drops, the upper half of Browne Falls is easily visible from cruise ship viewing decks.
- Wildlife Spotting - Doubtful Sound is a fjord teeming with wildlife. As such, you’re likely to encounter the small population of bottlenose dolphins that call the Sound home. Other wildlife that inhabit the fresh waters include New Zealand fur seals, native penguins and even rare large whales like the southern right, humpback, and sperm whales, as well as orcas like the killer whale and long-finned pilot whale.
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