Morning Activity :
Dusky and Doubtful Sound - Helicopter Flight with Southern Lakes Helicopters
Journey deep into the heart of Fiordland’s remote wilderness with our Dusky Sound and Doubtful Sound Scenic Flight.
Departing from our Te Anau lake front helicopter pad, begin by soaring over picturesque Lake Manapouri and above the Kilcoy mountains. A landing is made at Mt Pender, where we shut down the helicopter to enable you to soak up the grandeur. One of Fiordland’s largest and most remote fiords, 40km-long Dusky Sound is dotted with more than 350 small islands. Access to the sound is by sea or air only – very few people get to experience the beauty of this magical place.
Once airborne again, you’ll fly over three more impressive fiords before descending into Crooked Arm in Doubtful Sound. Often called the ‘Sound of Silence’ because of the total serenity that blankets the Sound, Doubtful is long, winding and home to several stunning waterfalls. While flying up this fiord you’ll detour into a unique hanging valley known as Campbell’s Kingdom, complete with its own lake and waterfall. At this stage you might want to pinch yourself. This is the New Zealand you came to see.
The return journey flies aloft the Main Divide of the Southern Alps with a second landing at Mt Kidd, a remote alpine location with dramatic views.
Land at Mt Pender in Dusky Sound, one of our most remote Fiords
Fly over stunning Campbell’s Kingdom, a unique hanging valley in Doubtful Sound
Enjoy a second landing at stunning Mt Kidd
Enjoy a free morning to explore or relax in Te Anau – we highly recommend a walk along the Kepler Track or along the lakefront, Frisbee golf at Ivon Wilson Park, or checking at the local cafes and shops.
Travel down the Upper Waiau River to Lake Manapouri by jet boat. Enjoy plenty of 360’ spins and high-speeds while also making stops along the way to soak up the amazing surrounds. Guests will be able to spot trout in crystal-clear water, listen for native birds and get the inside scoop on three Lord of the Rings film locations. Guests will be awed when emerging onto Lake Manapouri for a view that is sure to leave them speechless and a moment of absolute silence. The guide will then take the boat ashore as guests disembark into Fiordland National Park for a short nature stroll to learn about the local flora and fauna and local conservation efforts. The jet boat will then head back up river for more commentary, spins and laughs - a
perfect combination of excitement and local insight. See our Pure Wilderness Tour for more details
At the conclusion of the jet boat tour, mountain bikes will be waiting along with helmets and any personal gear for guests to follow the newly formed Lake2Lake Cycle Trail back to Te Anau and the Fiordland Jet office. The trail follows the river's edge and is an ideal way to view the Lake Te Anau Control Gates up-close and savour the beauty of Fiordland. There are heaps of places along the way to enjoy a rest, picnic or even a refreshing dip on a sunny day.
Local Tip: I’ll just mention that the Punanga Manu o Te Anau Bird Sanctuary is especially worth visiting. We have Kaka, Takahe and Whio/blue duck. Check out the daily feeding tours.
A full-day adventure to a remote and rarely seen part of Fiordland.
- Discover a hidden lake deep within Fiordland, inaccessible by road or walking track. There is only one way to get here, and that’s with us.
- Experience two return boat rides and a bushwalk.
- Explore Fiordland National Park’s oldest hut.
- Very few people visit this remote location – enjoy incredible nature-spotting.
- An intrepid experience made easy with a local expert as your guide.
- Perfect for anyone looking for an authentic adventure, including families with children.
- Lunch provided.
If done right, the journey to Milford Sound can be as rewarding as the final destination. With a Private Milford Sound Experience, you can fully immerse yourself into the heart of Fiordland National Park and give this World Heritage Area the full attention it deserves.
Enjoy every second of this bespoke experience can be catered to your individual interests, without the stress of having to be in the driver’s seat. Under the care and guidance of our knowledgeable local guides, you will uncover the hidden gems of Fiordland for a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.
*Please not this day will involve some hiking.
Your Doubtful Sound adventure begins with a cruise across the crystal clear waters of Lake Manapouri and then it is over Wilmot Pass by coach. On reaching Deep Cove, you will board our spacious catamaran, for a three hour cruise that takes in the most dramatic scenery of Doubtful Sound.
- Duration: 7 hours
- Start with a cruise across Lake Manapouri, followed by a coach trip over the epic Wilmot Pass through Fiordland’s rainforest and into the Sound.
- A 3-hour cruise through the waterways of Doubtful Sound
Cruise onboard the Patea Explorer (Fiordland Navigator or M.V. Sinbad may substitute)
- Commentary by our knowledgeable onboard nature guide
Wildlife viewing, including dolphins, fur seals and even occasionally penguins
- Snacks and drinks available for purchase (cash only). We recommend you bring your own packed lunch.