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

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

Stay in the Marlborough Sounds

Accommodation

From self-contained baches to all inclusive lodges, there's a slice of paradise for everyone in the Marlborough Sounds, some accessible only by water-taxi.

Stay in the Marlborough Sounds

The ship Edwin Fox

Activities

The Edwin Fox in Picton is largely unrestored, with amazing displays of cabin life on the deck.

The ship Edwin Fox

Edwin Fox Ship and Visitor Centre

Hear the dawn chorus

Activities

Wake early in the Marlborough Sounds for a stunning dawn chorus, like that heard by Joseph Banks when he visited Queen Charlotte Sound with Captain Cook.

Hear the dawn chorus

Blenheim i-SITE Visitor Information Centre

Sounds sunset by water

Activities

Head out by boat or kayak to find a bay all to yourselves, with a gourmet picnic and a Marlborough riesling or sauvignon blanc. Then watch the late afternoon sun slowly set.

Marlborough Sounds sunset. Photo: Daniel Forster

Blenheim i-SITE Visitor Information Centre

Swim with dolphins

Activities

Head out from Picton with Marlborough's specialised dolphin swimming and viewing tour company to view dolphins and even swim with them, in the sheltered waters of the Queen Charlotte Sound.

swim-with-dolphins

E-Ko Tours

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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