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Milford Sound vs Doubtful Sound

Should I visit Milford Sound or Doubtful Sound? This is one of the big questions travelers ask when touring the Fiordland region in New Zealand. Both offer spectacular and awe-inspiring scenery that takes your breath away. Both are part of the World Heritage listed Fiordland National Park. Both offer visitors a truly unique experience.

Milford Sound, one of New Zealand’s most spectacular natural attractions is located at the northernmost end of the Fiordland National Park. This area of the National Park has the most mountainous terrain, developed millions of years ago. Milford Sound’s pure natural beauty is absolutely astounding.

Flying into Milford

Milford Sound is the only one accessible by road and the drive is sensational. It is rated as one of the world’s most scenic drives. Experience this unforgettable journey as you sail out towards the Tasman Sea. Be amazed by the captivating views, waterfalls cascading from sheer cliffs above and the abundant marine life basking on the rocky outcrops. Drift past the dramatic Mitre Peak as it stands tall at nearly 1,700 metres high above you and enjoy the thrill of getting wet from the spray of the powerful Stirling Falls.

There is also an option of taking an overnight cruise. Sail out to sea as the sun sets on the glistening sound and wake up in one of the most stunning places on Earth. Truly an unforgettable and magical experience one would not want to miss!

On the other hand, Doubtful Sound is located at the centre of the Fiordland National Park, amidst untouched wilderness. This fiord is three times longer and ten times larger than Milford Sound giving visitors a sense of pure silence. Due to the incredible size of this Sound there are many areas to explore within its three arms.

Doubtful Sounds

To access the magnificent Doubtful Sound, you’ll need to take a short coach ride to Lake Manapouri, cruise across the crystal-clear waters and then travel by coach over Wilmot Pass to Deep Cove where you hop aboard your cruise. The remoteness and silence of Doubtful Sound create a peaceful and tranquil cruising experience.

As you glide past dense rainforest and rugged mountains that border the Sound, keep an eye out for seals, penguins and bottlenose dolphins. An overnight boat cruise lets you travel deeper into Doubtful Sound where you can explore even more of this spectacular natural wonder.

Milford or Doubtful is a must do on every New Zealand itinerary. Speak to one of the Kirra Tours experts to book your journey to one of these incredible must-see locations. Of course, you can always visit both!