Marlborough Sounds

Our Region

Marlborough Sounds

Marlborough Sounds in Marlborough New Zealand

The Marlborough Sounds is made up of four distinctly different Sounds - Queen Charlotte, Kenepuru, Pelorus, and Mahau, at the top of New Zealand's South Island. The winding waterways of the Marlborough Sounds make for brilliant boating, fishing, diving and wildlife viewing including dolphin watching.

Begin your trip into the Marlborough Sounds from the two seaside townships of Picton and Havelock. Join a guided tour aboard a cruise, charter or bring your own boat or kayak, or drive along the picturesque Queen Charlotte Drive and explore panoramic views of our vast, sea-drowned valleys. Travel further afield and visit d'Urville Island, accessible via Okiwi Bay and French Pass.

Spot dive-bombing gannets, go dolphin watching or swimming, see sunbathing seals and even cruising orca. Keep an ear out for native birdsong from the bush-clad hills surrounding beautiful bays.

Escape to one of the many lodges, B&Bs or holiday homes dotted throughout the Sounds, with some accessible only by water taxi or helicopter.

Seventy percent of New Zealand's Greenshell Mussels and 75% of New Zealand's farmed salmon comes from Marlborough. Join a seafood cruise sampling local seafood delicacies matched to a glass of award-winning Marlborough wine.

The iconic Queen Charlotte Track can be explored by foot, mountain bike or sea kayak over one or several days. The 70km track passes through stunning landscapes, with accommodation and restaurants along the way.

Picton Maritime Festival

Events

Enjoy all things maritime at the Picton Maritime Festival in January. Kid's play area, raft races for all ages, clinker boat races, performances from local talented youth and national artists as well. Food and craft stalls.

Picton Maritime Festival

Blenheim i-SITE Visitor Information Centre

Spot the king shag

Activities

Get a glimpse of the king shag, the second rarest bird in the world with a stagnant population of 500-600. The king shags nest near Motuara Island in the Marlborough Sounds.

Spot the king shag

Blenheim i-SITE Visitor Information Centre

Whaling station

Activities

Explore Marlborough’s whaling history at the Perano Whaling Station.

Whaling station

Blenheim i-SITE Visitor Information Centre

Take the mail boat

Activities

Travel from Havelock or Picton and call in to isolated homesteads and secluded bays to deliver mail and groceries to families living in the Marlborough Sounds.

Take the mail boat

Blenheim i-SITE Visitor Information Centre

Walk the Queen Charlotte Track

Activities

Boat to historic Ship Cove to start your walk on the Queen Charlotte Track. Carry your pack or have it transferred each day. Full walk 3-5 days or choose a section.

Walk the Queen Charlotte Track

Blenheim i-SITE Visitor Information Centre

Visit a mussel farm

Activities

Take a tour boat to one of the mussel, oyster or salmon farms within our unique waterways to see how some of our wonderful seafood is grown.

greenshell-mussels

Greenshell Mussel Cruise

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