Explore 1500km of winding coastline, secluded bays, historic sites, marine reserves and island sanctuaries, fostering kiwi and other native species.
Beautiful beaches and native bush surround the sunken valleys of water, and every bay beckons. Some can be reached by road, but the only way to really discover the sounds is by water. Kayak, sail or motor your way through the Marlborough Sounds and share in our beautiful treasure.
Jump aboard a scheduled mailboat run for a unique experience delivering supplies to people living in remote bays. Join a seafood a sample fresh mussels and salmon, or head out on a wildlife cruise for an incredible experience with Marlborough's marine and bird life.
Boat tours in the Marlborough Sounds
Whether you choose a day trip or a few nights away, guided or independent, you’re in for a treat. Kayakers in the Marlborough Sounds talk of encounters with dolphins, fur seals and even orca on their seasonal migration.
Explore the Marlborough Sounds by kayak
Explore Beautiful Bays
One fifth of New Zealand’s coastline winds its ways through the Marlborough Sounds, where blissful beaches, beautiful bush and pristine waters are everywhere you look. We’ve included a few of our top bays for boating, perfect for an overnight stay or day trip.
Explore the Marlborough Sounds
Sailing & Boating
The sheltered waters of the Marlborough Sounds are paradise for cruising, with countless bays to drop an anchor, sit back with a glass of Marlborough sauvignon blanc and watch the evening close over the bush clad hills.
Guide to boating in the Marlborough Sounds
Tash Luxton Conservation Kids Picton
“This is paradise. In so many parts of the world you have to be a millionaire to enjoy these things, but everyone can experience it here.”My insider guide to Marlborough
Ship Cove is steeped in history and natural beauty. It was explorer Captain Cook’s favourite anchorage spot in New Zealand and was the location of some of the first contact between Māori and Europeans.
You’ll meet cheeky weka on the grass and hear a vibrant birdlife from the trees above. This is also the starting point for walking or biking the 70km Queen Charlotte Track.
For more information about moorings in this bay and other areas in the Marlborough Sounds check out the Cruise Guide.
Heritage of Ship Cove
Ship Cove is steeped in New Zealand history as early explorer Captain James Cook’s favourite base. FIND OUT MORE>>
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The Magic Mail Boat
Kayaking & Rafting
Cycling & Mountain Biking