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Kayaking - Milford or Doubtful Sound

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Kayaking – Milford or Doubtful Sound


My husband and I will be staying in Te Anua in August. We only have 2 days for tours and would like to experience both Milford and Doubtful Sound. We have been thinking about doing a kayaking tour for one of them. Which would be better for the kayaking, Milford or Doubtful?

Also, I am a keen amateur photographer, but I am conscious that if we choose to do a Kayaking tour then I may miss out on some great photo opportunities, as it would be too risky to take my DSLR camera out on a kayak! I am thinking therefore it may be better to do the Kayaking tour around Doubtful and the Cruise on Milford, that way I can also have my camera ready when we travel along the Milford Road which I’ve also heard is stunning.

Does anyone have any suggestions?


South Island
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1. Re: Kayaking – Milford or Doubtful Sound

The early morning Kayak tours in Milford Sound are stunning especially if you strike good weather. Keep your options open and assess the weather conditions at the time. Milford Sound has better access than Doubtful Sound but if you enjoy kayaking try and do both.

Taking camera gear is a risk but the guides are extremely helpful and will provide you with the gear and information to reduce the chances of damaging your camera.

Kayaking these fiords on an a still flat sea in the middle of Winter is a great experience, Enjoy.

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2. Re: Kayaking – Milford or Doubtful Sound

Thanks for the advice. Like you say, I think we will just keep our options open until nearer the time. I've been told that during the winter months we shouldn't have to worry too much about booking in advance.

I may just have to buy or borrow a compact camera for my kayaking trip!

Thanks again :-)

Sardinia, Italy
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3. Re: Kayaking – Milford or Doubtful Sound

If possible do both for the comparison!

Doubtful is quieter, more sheltered and has a far greater feeling of wilderness than Milford. I reckon the Captain had it spot on with the reasoning behind the 'Doubtful' name.

Nearest to August I have been there is June & October - they ( & Te Anau) were very quiet then, so given the lack of punters and likely weather in August your biggest problem might be finding a kayak tour option that's running particularly on Doubtful.

p.s. milford in the pre-sunrise 'blue hour' with still conditions & high tide makes for some stunning photos...

4. Re: Kayaking – Milford or Doubtful Sound

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Removed on: 02 October 2012, 12:17