A beautiful quote about Doubtful Sound from Charles John Lyttelton, 10th Viscount Cobham, Governor-General of New Zealand (1957–1962).
“There are just a few areas left in the world where no human has ever set foot. That one of them should be in a country so civilized and so advanced as New Zealand may seem incredible, unless one has visited the south-west corner of the South Island. Jagged razor backed mountains rear their heads into the sky. More than 200 days of rain a year ensure not a tree branch is left bare and brown, moss and epiphytes drape every nook. The forest is intensely green. This is big country… one day peaceful, a study in green and blue, the next melancholy and misty, with low cloud veiling the tops… an awesome place, with its granite precipices, its hanging valleys, its earthquake faults and its thundering cascades.”
We stayed onboard on the 10/11th November and I have to say we had such a perfect time. This holiday was a long awaited one, being kiwis and in our late 50’s it was time to explore the South Island and what a fantastic gateway to our trip. Being welcomed aboard and seeing our amazing freshly caught crayfish for lunch was so special!
The cabin and bed were very comfortable, and we were lucky enough to have rain the first day, so the waterfalls got to show off but we woke to a clear blue sky and were able to enjoy a sunny morning aboard the luxury boat. We were privileged enough to meet some humpback whales and Jock Stewart fish, baraccuda, and of course, crayfish.
Thank you so much for showing us kiwis such a magnificent corner of NZ. This was different from Norway’s fjords, but equally as magnificent, the isolation and beauty unsurpassed.
Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, NZ
We had a 5 day holiday in Queenstown and the overnight cruise to Doubtful Sound was the main highlight of our trip. All the people we mentioned the cruise to said that Doubtful Sound is better than Milford Sound. We have been in NZ for over 19 years and this was the first time we came to Queenstown/South Island.
Unfortunately, on the day of the cruise the weather was wet, blusterous and cold. The conditions were not perfect. In spite of this, everything else that could be controlled (except the weather) were managed efficiently by John and Paige. Starting off with crayfish and salad for lunch, the cruise went on as well as it could for the rest of the afternoon and evening. We saw a number of spectacular waterfalls as a result of the rain and the boat came as close as we can to a couple of them. Seals, penguins, whales (from afar) and dolphins also joined our cruise. With kayaking also off the menu, we tried fishing and my wife caught her first fish ever – a shark and another. This was very exciting for her and I also caught about 7 fishes myself including a good sized terakihi which John splendidly made into a sashimi and served it to all of us in the early evening. The roast lamb for dinner was very nicely done and went well with our wine. John and Paige were excellent hosts and they joined our table for interesting conversations after dinner.
Watching the crayfish pots being hauled in with lots of crayfish the next day was also interesting viewing. The remoteness, isolation and wilderness was indeed overwhelming. Wish to come back some day and hopefully experience the “sounds of silence.”
The shuttle driver was very helpful. He went the extra mile on the trip back to Te Anau after the cruise by showing us where to eat, what to do for the afternoon and also suggested that we leave our travel bag in the Tracknet office while wondering around Te Anau. He even explained the advantages of being friends with locals as it relates to trout fishing … These little things and bits of information made a big difference and made our travel much more pleasant and enjoyable.
We will certainly recommend your company to family and friends.
Auckland, New Zealand