From Doubtful Sound our next stop on the New Zealand cruise was Dusky Sound / Tamatea, a fiord on the southwest corner of New Zealand, in Fiordland National Park. One of the most complex of the many fiords on this coast, it is also the largest at 40 km in length and eight km wide at its widest point. To the north of its mouth is the large Resolution Island, whose Five Fingers Peninsula shelters the mouth of the sound from the northwest; along the east coast of the island, Acheron Passage connects Dusky Sound with Breaksea Sound, to the north.
Several large islands lie in the sound, notably Anchor Island, Long Island, and Cooper Island. The upper reaches of the sound are steep-sided, and the high precipitation of the region leads to hundreds of waterfalls cascading into the sound during the rainy season. Seals and dolphins are often sighted in the sound’s waters and occasionally visited by whales where the area especially nearby Preservation Inlet was one of earliest shore-based whaling ground for southern right whales, while humpback whales show sudden increases. The Seaforth River is the largest of many small rivers and creeks which flow into the sound.
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