The Sound of Silence
Doubtful Sound, nicknamed the sound of silence, is practically untouched by man. The physical grandeur of
towering peaks descending into moody waters, outstanding waterfalls from ice-age valleys and ancient vegetation clad
fiords create a powerful atmosphere of solitude and serenity.
Three times longer than Milford Sound and with a
surface area 10 times larger, this is an unspoiled wilderness of many moods. Browne Falls cascades 836 metres
(2740 ft) to the fiord near Hall Arm while Helena Falls is a permanent feature in Deep Cove. Seals and dolphins
are frequently seen, as well as the occasional penquin.
Captain James Cook sighted the entrance to Doubtful Sound on his first voyage to New Zealand in 1770. He called the
place Doubtful Harbour and did not enter because he doubted his ability to sail back out to sea once inside the sound.
The sound was a lot larger than he expected, and whalers and sealers renamed it Doubtful Sound at a later date.
Today one of the most popular Fiordland tourist trips is the return one day excursion from Manapouri to Doubtful
Sound. Modern launches leave Pearl Harbour at Manapouri (20 minutes from the holiday resort of Te Anau) and cross
beautiful Lake Manapouri to its West Arm. A short trip over the Wilmot Pass leads to Deep Cove at the head of Doubtful