Travel Style

Boaties

The world is your oyster in the stunning Marlborough Sounds.

The Marlborough Sounds is New Zealand's marine playground, with one-fifth of New Zealand's coastline on offer right here, giving you some of the country's best boating and water experiences.

Go fishing for the big one or sit back and watch the dolphins and orca do it instead; dive for your night's dinner or a sunken shipwreck; catch a scenic cruise or charter a boat; lie back in a hammock or on the beach at a resort or holiday home; quietly explore the many coves and bays in a kayak or whip up some waterskiing action... fun in the Marlborough Sounds is whatever you make it.

Useful Information:

Picton Marina

Waikawa Marina

Havelock Marina

Essential Boating Information

Set sail in the Sounds

Activities

Bring your yacht or charter one here, for beautiful cruising in the Marlborough Sounds, where winter brings crisp and calm blue-sky days.

Set sail in the Sounds

Blenheim i-SITE Visitor Information Centre

Cruise with dolphins

Activities

Go dolphin watching, and learn about all the marine wildlife you see along the way, including seabirds and seals.

Cruise with dolphins

Fresh Marlborough seafood

Wine & Food

Marlborough salmon and mussels are available at a range of foodie outlets. Seafood (or more strictly Sounds food) with a crisp ‘chardie’ or ‘sav blanc’ is heaven on earth!

Fresh Marlborough seafood

Blenheim i-SITE Visitor Information Centre

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

Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary

Activities

Visit the community run Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary, a mainland sanctuary just a few minutes by boat from Picton, full of native birdlife.

Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary

Blenheim i-SITE Visitor Information Centre

Motuara Island eco sanctuary

Activities

Visit the beautiful Motuara Island in the Queen Charlotte Sound. This predator free sanctuary is home to kiwi, saddlebacks and other native wildlife.

Motuara Island eco sanctuary

Blenheim i-SITE Visitor Information Centre

Related Guide:

On the Water
Transport

On the Water

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.

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