A collection of ancient sunken river valleys filled with the waters of the Pacific Ocean, The Marlborough Sounds are where forested hills rise steeply from the sea around an intricate coastline of sheltered inlets and sandy bays.
With three main bodies of water – Queen Charlotte, Kenepuru and Pelorous Sound, there are over 50 reserves in this scenic playground and includes the famous Queen Charlotte Track. Enjoy long sheltered inlets, clear waters and sandy bays. Hike through the forest or kayak around the headlands to discover a fresh location each day.
Several islands within the sounds are predator-free sanctuaries for native wildlife. Motuara, Long, Blumine and Allports Islands are ideal for picnics, forest walks or viewing historic sites.
LocalLux Selected Experiences
Hiking and Kayaking – an incredible way to explore the Marlborough Sounds
Today is all about getting out there, experiencing the local environment at a pace totally tailored to you.
After meeting your guide you’ll depart to the launch point of todays experience, either a short drive from Picton or, if you’re staying in the Sounds, a short water taxi trip. Getting out onto the water is a great way to begin your day and little can top sea kayaking in what is truly some of the best paddling in the Marlborough Sounds. Within a short time you’ll be exploring the shoreline, spotting rays and sea birds, learning about the lush native bush near the water’s edge and of course, having fun!
Your kayak tour will take you to the small settlement of Anakiwa where it’s time for a lunch break, picnic style before it’s on with tramping boots and an afternoon’s hike on the Queen Charlotte Track. The section of track you’ll hike, from Anakiwa to Mistletoe Bay, passes through some of the nicest bush of the whole 70km walk; it’s a moderate walk of around 3-4 hours (11km). On arrival into Mistletoe Bay your water taxi will be ready for the return trip – a totally awesome day.
Seafood Odyssea Cruise
One of Marlborough’s iconic experiences the Seafood Odyssea Cruise is a great way to learn about the Marlborough Sounds area, especially the local seafoods.
Departing from Picton Marina you need only to sit back, relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Queen Charlotte Sound with seemingly endless bays and coves to explore, there’s ‘different scenery around each corner.
During your cruise you’ll learn about the bird and wildlife and the regions Aquaculture, including a cruise past one of the local Salmon farms, learning how it’s an important contributor to the local and national economy. And all the time you’ll be surrounded by some of New Zealand’s most spectacular coastal scenery.
Lunch is all part of your experience, you’ll enjoy tastings of fresh Regal salmon, steamed Greenshell mussels and Cloudy Bay clams while sipping on matched Marlborough sauvignon blanc wines.