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.
Cast for kawahai and salmon at the mouth of the Wairau River, or find trout in the tributaries of this beautiful braided river. Pull on your wetsuit to dive for crayfish and paua on Marlboroughs East Coast, in the currents of the Tory Channel and Port Underwood, or out of Okiwi and Elaine Bays to the west.
Go diving in secluded corners of the Queen Charlotte Sound or cast a line for blue cod and snapper in the Kenepuru and Pelorus. Some of Marlborough’s best sea fishing and diving is off d’Urville Island and French Pass, where fishing charters will ensure you find the right spots.
Marlborough Sounds Fishing
Set off from Okiwi Bay, Picton, Havelock, French Pass or D’Urville Island for the fishing trip of a lifetime.
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There’s excellent fly fishing to be had in Marlborough, from catching kahawhai at The Diversion, to seeking trout and wild salmon in remote locations up and off the Wairau River.
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Each area of New Zealand has different fishing regulations, and it’s important you know your limits. You can face serious penalties if you break fisheries laws and Compliance Officers are regularly out in the Marlborough Sounds, protecting our fisheries.
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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
The Waikawa Boating Club runs a summer racing programme from October, with divisions for more serious sailers, flying their spinnakers, and the more cruise orientated, who race the white sails division.
The events range from the Twilight Tuesday evening racing to the slightly more challenging Saturday offshore races. It transfers to the Winter Series on every second Sunday afternoon, for those who know how beautiful the sounds are in that season.
Other brilliant annual racing events are the Wineworks Sauvignon Blanc Yacht Race, from Marlborough to Wellington, and the Lawson's Dry Hills New Year Regatta.
The club aims to get new owners out on the water and enjoying their boats, and those with an interest but not a yacht can show up on a Tuesday evening, to put their hand up for a place in a crew.
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Sport & Recreation
Waikawa Boating Club