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Real Journeys. Doubtful Sound is three times as long as Milford Sound and sees far fewer visitors. Real Journeys runs a range of combined bus and boat trips there. Tours include a 2-km (1-mi) bus trip down a spiral tunnel to the Lake Manapouri Power Station machine hall, an extraordinary engineering feat built deep beneath the mountain. On the sound itself, you may see bottlenose dolphins or fur seals. Most people take an eight-hour day trip from Lake Manapouri; there are bus connections from Te Anau and Queenstown. Between October and May you can overnight on the sound, aboard the Fiordland Navigator. Rates for the day excursion are NZ$275 per person, and for the overnight cruise, NZ$263 (for a quad share) to NZ$473 (twin share). Lakefront Dr., Milford, 9600. 03/249-7416 or 0800/656-502. www.realjourneys.co.nz.
Fiordland Expeditions. Fiordland Expeditions provides a truly New Zealand experience on their two boats, Tutuko, and Tutoko II. Skipper Richard Abernethy is totally at home on these waters and will take you to the most inaccessible reaches of Doubtful Sound, or out and around the coast, weather permitting (which doesn't happen often). This is the tour to do if you want to do a bit of fishing, dive some of the excellent water beneath the boat, or just soak up the scenery, of which there is plenty. Tours are run by arrangement, rather than on a set schedule and are overnight, so you'll need to form a group, or join one. Deep Cove, Doubtful Sound, 9643. 03/249-9005. www.fiordlandexpeditions.co.nz.
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