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Kayak Doubtful Sound

Kayaking Doubtful Sound is the kind of experience you'll dine out on for the rest of your life. It's a bold statement, sure but ask anyone who's ever been on one - they'll back us up!

How long will it take to get to Manapouri?

It will take around 30 minutes to get to Manapouri from Te Anau. If you’re coming from Queenstown, allow around two and a half hours by car.

Do you pick up from accommodation in Te Anau?

Unfortunately we do not for this experience.

Can we park at Manapouri?

Yes, car parking is free at Manapouri. Make your way to the visitor centre and park there. If the car park is full there is additional parking on View Street.

Do we kayak from Manapouri?

No. You will take the one-hour boat over Manapouri then a 45-minute bus ride over the Wilmot Pass down to Deep Cove. This is where the kayaking starts.

How long do we kayak Doubtful Sound for?

On the day trip you will kayak for 3 hours. On our multi night trips the kayaking each day will vary but will be around 3-5 hours a day depending on the next location and weather conditions.

What should I bring with me?

Generally, we need you to wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Bring wet weather gear and also food for the lunch stop. If you have booked one of our kayak trips, then you will receive a kayak itinerary detailing what to bring with you. If you have any extra questions, please contact the team at one of our stores or email [email protected]

Where do we go after the kayaking has finished?

You will return to Deep Cove then take the trip back over the Wilmott Pass before getting the boat back to Manapouri.

Are we on the same kayak trip as the overnight people?

No, all our experiences are separate.

What if the experience is cancelled due to weather?

Our team will do their best to accommodate you on another of our experiences, if not you will receive a refund, or a date transfer will be available.

Can we visit the Power Station at Manapouri?

Unfortunately, due to health and safety reasons we can’t take you into the power station. However, you get a great view from the boat as we pull into West Arm.

What is the difference between Milford and Doubtful?

You will find both Milford and Doubtful Sound deep down in the South Island of New Zealand in the Fiordland National Park.

Milford Sound is around 13kms long and famous for its dramatic mountain peaks waterfalls. Home to Mitre Peak, it’s easy to see why people flock here.

Doubtful Sound is three times longer than Milford Sound, home to three arms named Hall, Crooked and First arm. Commonly known as the sound of silence and famous for Wildlife sightings, Doubtful is a real adventure experience.

What kind of weather will we experience in Fiordland?

Bring your raincoats as sometimes we experience all four seasons in one day. Rainfall is what makes Fiordland so unique, a land of rivers, waterfalls, luscious forest and fiords. You should be prepared to experience some rainfall during your visit, after all it rains approximately 200 days of the year. Please bring sensible clothing for cool and wet weather.

What is the difference between a sound and a fiord?

A fiord is a valley created from Glacial movement. Typically, narrow and steep sided, flooded by the sea after glacial retreat. A sound is a river valley that has been flooded by the sea, from and movement or rising sea levels. Throughout Fiordland our fiords are officially mapped as sounds, however we should call them fiords.

Is it worth visiting Milford Sound or Doubtful Sound on a wet day?

Yes, yes and yes. We say you haven’t experienced the real Fiordland unless it rains. The landscape is dramatic, rock faces are covered in waterfalls and the resident waterfalls are way more powerful. From the comfort of our boats you can experience the spectacular landscape.

Will I see any of the local wildlife?

The awesome thing about our local residents is that they are totally wild. Although we can’t 100 percent guarantee a sighting, Dolphins and Seals are spotted on the regular. If you’re really lucky you may see a Fiordland Crested Penguin or a whale!

Will we still kayak if it rains?

It may rain during your experience down in Fiordland, but that’s okay. We will still go ahead with your kayak experience if it rains. We base our weather decisions on the marine weather forecast and will only cancel if there was a threat to our safety.

What about the Sandflies?

When out in the water Sandflies are not a problem, however they do make an appearance on land. We suggest you bring strong insect repellent and wear clothes that cover your skin. For guided overnight trips we provide insect shelters, great for cooking, relaxing and keeping the little pests away.

How safe is kayaking?

We have awesome, experienced and knowledgeable guides that accompany you on every trip. We will provide you with a full safety briefing before each trip and ongoing instructions throughout the day.

Am I fit enough to kayak? Do I need any experience?

No previous experience is required to kayak with us on our 1 day experiences. We do ask that you are water confident and a moderate fitness level is required. You will be kayaking for at least 4 hours a day. Our overnight experience would therefore have 8 hours total of kayaking with an overnight camp.

Is this a guided kayak tour or can we rent kayaks from you?

Our tours are guided yes, ideal for those without experience. The guides make all the decisions and give paddling instructions throughout the day. They add the local flavour and have a heap of local history and facts for you along the way.

We do not offer kayak rentals.

What is the minimum and maximum age for a kayak tour?

The minimum age for all our kayaking experiences is 16 years old. There is no maximum age, we just ask that you are physically fit.

Can I fish from the kayak?

There is absolutely no fishing from our boats or kayaks in Fiordland due to our fragile eco system and Marine Reserve status.

Am I going to get wet?

Unless you opt for a swim it is unlikely you will get wet, from the ocean that is. If it rains, yes you will. We do provide you with a waterproof spray jacket and skirt to keep you dry should the heavens open.

Do you provide the kayak?

Yes. All our kayaks are double seated sea kayaks. They comfortably seat two, with enough space to store a few valuables in the hole or strapped to the front on the ropes.

How many people will go on the kayak experience?

Along with your guide then the minimum people on your trip will be two. There is a maximum of eight people per guide so if we have more people, we will provide more guides

Will I return on time from the kayak experience?

Yes, it is very rare that the weather will delay us. However, we have experienced it in the past, so we suggest you leave plenty of time after your experience for your onward journey.

Is there cell phone reception?

Where you are going, no. But that’s okay, lets disconnect from that world and connect with our natural world.

Are the guides first aid trained?

Yes, all guides are fully first aid trained. Our guides have received extensive training and will be competent in tackling any situation should one arise.

Where do I get changed for the kayak experience?

We have a small base at Deep Cove where you will initially get ready, this is where you will get your thermals, spray jacket, life vest and spray skirt. We will conduct a safety briefing here and get you out on the Sound in your kayak.

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