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Marlborough, New Zealand Wheelchair accessible

Our most recommended Marlborough, New Zealand Wheelchair accessible

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.

Onshore Highlights of Marlborough's Wine Region from Picton

3. Onshore Highlights of Marlborough's Wine Region from Picton

The Port of Picton in the Queen Charlotte Sound welcomes cruise ships throughout the season and it is a lovely seaside spot to explore. Just 25 minutes south of Picton, your tour takes you on a scenic journey to enjoy the famous Marlborough wine and gourmet region. The most popular highlights of the day are wine tasting, sampling local gourmet treats and the spectacular scenic routes of the vineyards, Wairau Plains, mountain ranges and farmlands while traveling to and from the most beautiful winery gardens and cellar doors. Experience gourmet treats of cheese tasting, manuka honey, oils, liqueurs, a refreshing gelato or decadent fudge. Seasonal produce is also available at roadside stalls from December through to February. You can take these aboard but must eat them before you disembark. Juicy strawberries, cherries, apricots and nectarines. Although your cruise ship caters well for you, a light tapas or cheese/meat/seafood platter with matching wines is a great way to experience the local cuisine. Your local chauffeur/guide arranges a picturesque winery garden or a chateau high on a hill with magnificent views for your pleasure. If time allows you can also request a stop at the Omaka Aviation Air Centre where you can view Peter Jackson’s amazing displays of his classic aircraft of WW1 and WW2.  The tour can continue and your chauffeur/guide will return for you to join the rest of the group within 1-2 hours. A fabulous memorabilia shop is also there for you along with delicious cafe treats. Generally tours last around 4-5 hours but flexibility is given for each ships schedule and the tour caters for passengers comfort and requirements.  Travel in comfortable small personal vehicles of 6, 9 or 11 seats and will return at least 2 hours prior to your ship's scheduled departure. Before leaving Blenheim you should visit the Makana Boutique Chocolate Confections – a treat not to be missed. For a highlight to end a wonderful day when you arrive back in Picton, why not take advantage of a short 15 minute return drive from the township to the Victoria Domain for high vantage views of Picton Port, Queen Charlotte Sound and your ship. Your local chauffeur/guide is a local owner who has great passion for the Marlborough region and looks forward to sharing it all with you. 

From Havelock: Marlborough Sounds Mail Boat Full-Day Cruise

4. From Havelock: Marlborough Sounds Mail Boat Full-Day Cruise

Embark on a truly unique marine experience on a Kiwi mail boat cruise. See what it’s like to deliver mail in a remote part of the world by sea in the Marlborough Sounds on a full-day cruise. Set sail on the Pelorus Mail Boat, which has been operating for more than a century. As a sea postie for a day, cruise through the largest, quietest and most remote part of the Marlborough Sounds, Pelorus (Te Hoiere) Sound, and Kenepuru Sound. Relax on the spacious catamaran between mail, parcel, and supply deliveries and pick-ups. Marvel at the stunning scenery of clear blue water in tranquil coves and bush-clad hillsides. Weather-permitting, even get to take a sneak peek at Greenshell Mussel Farm on an informative tour. Meet some of the residents who await the Pelorus Mail Boat on far-flung jetties, unspoilt beaches, or even on their boats. Even meet a variety of 4-footed furry residents who accompany their owners to collect their mail. Benefit from a fun local crew will provide informative and entertainment commentary about life in this isolated part of the Marlborough Sounds. You’ll learn what life far away from the nearest road is really like, along with some of the area’s fascinating history. The crew will also keep an expert eye for local marine wildlife including dolphins, seals, penguins and stingrays. As an added bonus, even enjoy some free tea, coffee, and biscuits onboard.

Marlborough Wine, Gourmet and Scenic Tour from Blenheim

5. Marlborough Wine, Gourmet and Scenic Tour from Blenheim

Enjoy a gourmet tour of the Marlborough Region of New Zealand's South Island on an itinerary that can be customized to suit your interests. Visit wine cellars offering a variety of unique styles, and experience stunning landscapes that are a treat for the eyes.  Depart Blenheim at 10:00, and embark on a journey through the award-winning wines of the region. Meet the wine makers and exceptional hosts at wineries that stay open all year round for your convenience. Benefit from the services of a local chauffeur/guide with extensive knowledge of the region. Venture through the Wairau Valley, and fall in love with the wines as you experience new varietals. Get spectacular views of the rolling hills and see how they contrast with the vineyards, market gardens and farms. Stop for seasonal produce (December through February) of juicy strawberries, cherries, apricots and nectarines, along with local cheeses, oils, liqueurs, Manuka honey, peanut butter and black garlic. Make a special stop at the Makana Confections Boutique Chocolate Factory for some divine chocolate treats! As wine is the main attraction of the Marlborough Region (it's New Zealand's largest wine producer), you will want to taste the produce. Acclaimed for its Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir wines, the region is also home to wineries that specialize in Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Viognier, Gruener Veltliner, Arneis and even Malbec wines. Relax in a picturesque winery garden café or at a chateau on the hill with magnificent views of the valley and vineyards. Enjoy a cheese, meat and seafood platter or tapas. Then, as you near the end of the day, benefit from beautiful views that create a perfect ambiance for a dinner with your favorite wine of the day. Get the chance to include a trip to the Omaka Aviation Heritage Center to see Peter Jackson's amazing displays of classic World War I and World War II aircraft and the most life-like scenic backdrops of the era. Your guide can drop you off at the center and continue with the rest of the group to return within 1-5 hours if you prefer. This would be the minimum time to really take advantage of the exhibition, and a café and memorabilia store are available for your comfort and convenience.

Blenheim: Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre Admission Ticket

6. Blenheim: Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre Admission Ticket

Discover two world-class aviation exhibitions at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre. Explore the original "Knights of the Sky" exhibition, featuring Sir Peter Jackson's collection of WWI aircraft and artifacts. Learn about the story of aviation during the Great War, which is brought to life in sensational sets created by an internationally acclaimed production company and a special effects company. Make your way to the "Dangerous Skies" exhibition which features aviaton stories from World War II. Learn of tales of valor and tragedy from the British Isles, the forests of Germany, the defence of Russia, and the steaming hot jungles of South East Asia. Admire the two star attractions of the exhibition, the world's only flyable Mk1 Avro Anson, and a Griffon powered Mk.XIVe Spitfire.

Marlborough Sounds: Greenshell Mussel Cruise

7. Marlborough Sounds: Greenshell Mussel Cruise

Climb aboard our vessel at Picton Marina, and set sail across the shimmering waters of Marlborough Sounds at 13:30. Indulge in some freshly steamed mussels paired with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc from the area. Experience the ultimate food and wine pairing as you take in the spectacular views. Cruise across the tranquil waters of Queen Charlotte Sound, and learn about the local history. Make use of the onboard 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.  

Blenheim: Progressive Wine & Gourmet Trail of Marlborough

8. Blenheim: Progressive Wine & Gourmet Trail of Marlborough

Marlborough's wine and gourmet experience is something you should not miss. Plus, you will have complimentary wine for couples and single travelers (One glass per person). Enjoy an all-inclusive tour with your own chauffeur/ guide. This is a small group tour for only up to six persons. Single travelers are welcome. As noted in this tour it say 'Full Meal' - this is spaced out through the day into 5 wine tastings and with a close food match, a special treat gives you sweet dessert wine/late harvest and a special ice-cream treat. If you do not drink wine, a substitute of your choice is welcome. Your Progressive Wine and Gourmet Trail has been designed for you to get the best Marlborough has to offer, departing from Blenheim or Picton. Marlborough provides a superb selection of winery restaurants and cafes that can offer the most amazing experiences and what better way to enjoy and taste your wine. A menu will be created for you to enjoy with the best Marlborough wine match. it is recommended that you book in advance so your chauffeur/ guide can plan the best selection for you and ensure catering is observed for any special requirements. Your perfect day will include up to five course selections for your gourmet and wine trail. Spend a little more time to relax over your main course and for your end of day stop, relax with a wine and tapas and a view of a beautiful Wairau Valley sunset.

Private Shore Excursion from Picton: Marlborough Highlights

9. Private Shore Excursion from Picton: Marlborough Highlights

The Port of Picton in the Queen Charlotte Sound welcomes cruise ships through-out the season. Just 25 minutes south of Picton your local chauffeur will take you on a scenic journey to enjoy the famous Marlborough wines.   Your personal tour offers great flexibility to combine your favourite requests  with a local chauffeur's recommendations of the area. Enjoy a full wine tour experience or mix with other Marlborough gourmet and local attractions. On arrival into the Blenheim countryside of the Wairau Valley you can start tasting some sensational wines before a relaxing break for brunch, lunch or afternoon refreshment (at your own cost) applicable to your ships schedule.  A popular choice could be a light tapas platter of mouth-watering cheese, meats and seafood with matching wines at a picturesque winery spot or while you overlook the Valley views of vineyards and the surrounding landscapes. More wine tasting could follow or try some of the local gourmet oils, liqueurs, local cheeses, garlic noir, peanut butters, Manuka honey or a refreshing gelato. Your itinerary could vary depending on some of the options you choose on the day. Some exciting options you could consider could be a visit to an award winning garden, a visit to a renowned local artist’s personal gallery, a visit to another special artisan gallery and the opportunity to see the pet sheep.  You could also choose a visit to the Omaka Aviation Museum to view Peter Jackson’s classic air craft displays from WW1 and WW2 .  A must stop is the Makana Boutique Chocolate Confections – a tasty treat  not to be missed. Some activities will be subject to availability on the day if not pre-booked and  any entry fees may be payable to the organizer on the day. When you have booked please ask about these options and they can be pre-booked for you. Once back in Picton you may like to take in the breath-taking views overlooking the Port of Picton, Queen Charlotte Sound and your ship. You will travel in a comfortable vehicle of up to six or 9 seats to suit the single traveller, couples and friends.  Your local chauffeur is a local owner who has great passion for Marlborough and would look forward to sharing it with you.

From Picton: Private Wine and Gourmet Tour of Marlborough

10. From Picton: Private Wine and Gourmet Tour of Marlborough

Create your perfect day in the Marlborough wine region on a 6-hour tour priced for a group of up to 6 people. Your chauffeur/guide will help you pick the best spots to enjoy the fantastic wines of Marlborough and peaceful vineyard settings. You’ll be taken on an exciting wine and gourmet experience on this private day tour from Picton. Enjoy stunning views of the Marlborough wine region and taste fine wines and delicious gourmet treats. Your interests are the priority for the day and might include visits to award-winning gardens, local producers, and talented local artisans. Your tour is tailored especially for you. If you’re interested in history, you could enjoy a stop at the Heritage Air Museum to see Peter Jackson's amazing classic aircraft displays. If you’re interested in arts and crafts, you can stop meet a local artist and visit a renowned gallery. Additional highlights could include a local brewery, a private home gourmet kitchen, or a scenic drive around the bays of Marlborough Sounds. Sit back and relax with wide views from the windows as you meander through the Wairau Plains, the expansive vineyards, the rolling hills of the valley, and the local horticultural and farming spots, with the Pacific Ocean nearby. As Marlborough is the heart of the New Zealand wine region, wine tasting is usually at the top of the list. The many wineries and cellar door hosts offer a truly personal experience to showcase award-winning wines all year round. Treats of Marlborough's gourmet and local produce can be slipped in to suit. Tastings can include local cheeses as well, along with the Manuka honey, peanut butters with a difference, black garlic, smoked mushrooms and lots more. During the season, from November through to February, local produce can be found at roadside stalls. You’ll find asparagus, juicy cherries, strawberries, raspberries, apricots, nectarines and more. Lunch venues run from a beautiful winery garden restaurant to a chateau on a hill with amazing views. Wine tasting is available or you could enjoy a glass or bottle of wine suited to your menu choices. Cheese platters are also offered at some of the cellar doors to accompany your wine tasting. A major highlight of all tours is a stop at the Makana Chocolate Boutique, where you’ll be tempted, to say the least. If you are attending a Marlborough event or are visiting on business and prefer the privacy of your own chauffeured tour, your chauffeur/guide will create a custom itinerary to suit your requirements. Private appointments can be arranged for your specific industry.

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Frequently asked questions about Marlborough, New Zealand

What top attractions are a must-see in Marlborough, New Zealand?

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What people are saying about Marlborough, New Zealand

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 18 reviews

Wonderful trip on the Mailboat Ferry along Queen Charlotte Pass, going into wilderness area. The trip was wonderful and the Skipper was so knowledgeable and interesting. It passed our expectations, especially when we landed to look around for a small while, seeing the smallest dolphins in the world and meeting the locals as they collected their mail. A beautiful cruise and stunning scenery, a must do in Picton.

Highly recommend it. What a fabulously unique way to see the Sounds through the lives of the locals receiving their mail. Great trip, amusing commentary, and interesting farm stopover for a picnic.

What a great trip! We really enjoyed the excursion out to the Endeavour Inlet. We saw so many dolphins. Thanks to Karl for his superb commentary.

Fantastic exhibition! Highly recommend. Attention to detail is astounding!

Great boat/bus/boat, great crew, great views....just do it!