Marlborough, New Zealand Sightseeing cruises

Our most recommended Marlborough, New Zealand Sightseeing cruises

Queen Charlotte Sound Mail Boat Cruise from Picton

1. Queen Charlotte Sound Mail Boat Cruise from Picton

Climb aboard the only official licensed New Zealand Post Rural Delivery Service by water in the Queen Charlotte Sound for a truly unique and interesting tour! Join in the excitement of Mail Day as the skipper delivers the New Zealand Rural post bags, groceries and freight to the residents that call the Queen Charlotte Sound waterways home. The Mail has been delivered by boat for over 150 years in the Queen Charlotte Sounds. Admire Marlborough Sounds' magnificent scenery and take a glimpse into daily life in the remote outposts of this region. Operating from Monday to Saturday, no one day is the same. The route changes daily, covering a different area and delivering the mail. During your cruise your skipper will provide interesting and informative commentary on the history of the Marlborough Sounds and the people who lived there then and now. Feel free to ask questions and keep your camera handy for any wildlife encounters.

Marlborough Sounds and Ship Cove Cruise from Picton

2. Marlborough Sounds and Ship Cove Cruise from Picton

Navigate the magnficent waterways of Marlborough Sounds on a morning boat tour, departing from the Picton waterfront. Cruise up through the Queen Charlotte Sound to historical Ship Cove. Warm up with tea and coffee and listen to live commentary on regional historical and natural landmarks. Keep a lookout for marine life such as little blue penguins and Hector’s dolphins — considered the rarest marine dolphin in the world. After about an hour’s journey, your boat drops anchor at Ship Cove. Step ashore for 30 minutes and discover the inlet named by Captain James Cook on 15 January 1770. The Endeavour was anchored here to replenish supplies and the spot became a favourite anchorage of Captain Cook. Dabble in the creek where Captain Cook made home brew for his crew and share the beach with the resident wildlife. Have your photo taken beside the Captain Cook Monument commemorating his visits to this area. Or, just relax and enjoy the tranquil surrounds.

Queen Charlotte Track: Cruise & Self-Guided Hike from Picton

3. Queen Charlotte Track: Cruise & Self-Guided Hike from Picton

Cruise through the Queen Charlotte Sound to walk part of the Queen Charlotte Track, one of the top ten coastal walking tracks in New Zealand. Your self-guided adventure starts with a cruise north from Picton to the historic Ship Cove. Here you can learn about the local area from your skipper, whilst on the lookout for marine wildlife. You will be able to choose between the following two hikes: Furneaux Lodge to Punga Cove Your first hike opportunity will be from Furneaux Lodge to Punga Cove, a 12.7-kilometer hike. You can enjoy 30-minutes ashore at the historic Ship Cove before rejoining the vessel and cruising around to Furneaux Lodge where you can grab a coffee or even brunch. Begin your self-guided hike along the Queen Charlotte Track, where you will learn that this area is rich in history and follows the coastline around the Endeavour Inlet through regenerating native bush to the Punga Cove Resort.  Ship Cove to Furneaux Lodge This hike provides you with the opportunity to hike from Ship Cove to Furneaux Lodge, a trail of 15 kilometers. You will arrive at Ship Cove where you'll begin your self-guided hike of the Queen Charlotte Track. You can climb away from the beach as you pass through native forest regenerating beneath a high canopy of trees. You will then be able to admire stunning views of the sound when you reach Tawa Saddle. The track then drops into Resolution Bay and follows an old bridle path into Endeavour Inlet to Furneaux Lodge. After your walk, you'll have time to relax before boarding your cruise vessel around 4:00 PM for your return boat journey to Picton with an estimated arrival time of 5:30-6:00 PM.

Picton and Marlborough Sounds: Seafood Odyssea Cruise

4. Picton and Marlborough Sounds: Seafood Odyssea Cruise

Stroll aboard the vessel at Picton Marina to cruise the pristine waters of the Marlborough Sounds. Indulge in some fresh, locally-caught seafood, including Regal salmon, Cloudy Bay clams and Greenshell mussels, perfectly paired with a glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc for the ultimate food/wine match.  Relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the Queen Charlotte Sound while cruising aboard our luxury launch, and learn about the local history and marine farming industry. Make use of the on board licensed bar, serving a good range of Marlborough wines, along with beers, juice and bottled water. A range of light snacks, including chips and peanuts, are available to purchase. Enjoy the boat's indoor and outdoor areas for views of the forested hills and clear blue waters from different perspectives. Then, journey back to Picton Marina for an estimated arrival time of 16:30.  

Picton: Queen Charlotte Sounds Sightseeing Cruise

5. Picton: Queen Charlotte Sounds Sightseeing Cruise

Hop onboard a sightseeing cruise to see the natural beauty of Queen Charlotte Sounds. Search for local birds and wildlife, and feed fish from onboard the boat. Cruise to Double Cove, Lochmara Bay, and Onahau Bay on a short cruise, perfect for cruise ship passengers short on time. Crossing the main reach of Queen Charlotte Sounds will have you arriving at Double Cove, a sheltered haven of holiday homes, cormorants, and lively local fish. Cruise around the bay taking in some amazing waterfront properties and wildlife nestled in the cove, and stop to feed friendly fish from the vessel. Mullet and Big Blue Cod are among the locals who visit at feeding time, along with sea birds who like to join in the fun. Continue your sightseeing cruise into Lochmara Bay, Onahau Bay, and around the grove arm of the inner Queen Charlotte Sound. This area is surrounded by years of regenerating beach forests and natural beauty. Your friendly skipper will give a full commentary and answer any questions along the way to ensure you take away the best the Marlborough Sounds has to offer.

  • Water activities
  • Day trips

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Other Sightseeing Options in Marlborough, New Zealand

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What people are saying about Marlborough, New Zealand

What a great day trip! The Skipper of the boat was so informative with local information and really friendly. We would thoroughly recommend this especially if you just have a day to fill. Beautiful scenery, wildlife and a well organised trip.

on the ride out to ship cove we saw dolphins and the guide gave us plenty of time to see them and managed to position the boat so we could all get amazing photos.

Very good Captain with vast knowledge of the Sounds. We learnt a lot. Clean and comfortable boat. All wonderful. Jane Campbell

Awesome commentary and experience. Would highly recommend!!! We wish Ryan and his family all the best in their new venture.

Excellent guide that knows the area well. Beautiful scenery every.