A rare King Shag in the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand
  • Bird life

    Kiwi, native falcon & rare king shag

  • Marine life

    Dolphins, orca, seals & more

  • Wildlife

    Visit island sanctuaries

  • Coastal Gem

    Long Island Marine Reserve


Wildlife & Conservation

Endangered kiwi and various native birds including the King Shag thrive on predator-free islands in the Marlborough Sounds, as well as tuatara, gecko and native frogs.

The winding waterways of the sounds hold dolphins, stingrays, seals, and even orca and whales on their seasonal migration.

Back on dry land, the Picton Heritage and Whaling Museum hosts interesting rich stories of the region's whaling history.

Other ways to immerse yourself in Marlborough's wildlife and conservation is to Kayak on the Wairau Lagoons, cruise close to a multitude of New Zealand bird species, or visit the rare population of bats being protected at the Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve. Stroll the wildlife trail at Lochmara Lodge, or discover more about the award-winning sustainability practices at Yealands Estate winery.

Marlborough Sounds Restoration Trust

Visitors to the Marlborough Sounds may notice the odd stand of dead pine trees amid the native bush. The poisoned trees are part of a project by the Marlborough Sounds Restoration Trust, which started in 2008 to control wilding pines that spread from farms and forestry blocks and infest regenerating bush.

As the pines die back, the native bush recovers and the distinctive skylines of the sounds are revealed once again. The trust is a voluntary group supported by local landowners, the Marlborough District Council and Department of Conservation. 

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