Few lakes are more beautiful and mysterious than New Zealand’s second deepest lake, Lake Manapōuri - often referred to as New Zealand's loveliest lake. The peaceful township of Manapōuri lies on the eastern shores of the lake, beside its outflow into the Waiau River. The town has plenty of amenities to make your stay in these picturesque surroundings enjoyable, plus it is the departure point for excursions to Doubtful Sound and the main gateway for the even more remote Dusky Sound.
Sometimes called “The Sound of Silence”, Doubtful Sound (Patea) is the deepest of Fiordland’s fiords and the second longest, with three distinct “arms”, numerous small islands and several outstanding waterfalls. It lies deep within the Fiordland National Park about 50 kilometres from Manapōuri, which is the nearest inhabited town. Access is via a boat journey across Lake Manapōuri and then a bus trip on the gravel road across Wilmot Pass to the Sound, where tour boats berth at a small wharf in Deep Cove. As well as its spectacular scenery, the fiord is also home to a wide variety of fauna, including one of the southernmost populations of Bottlenose Dolphins.