Marlborough Sounds

Marlborough and the Marlborough Sounds makes up the northeastern tip of the South Island. It is well known for its wine and the Marlborough Sounds offers boaties an extensive network of coastal waterways, peninsulas and islands all protected from the weather.


MĀORI HISTORY Marlborough Sounds are said to be part of Te Tau Ihu o te Waka-a-Māui (the sunken prow of Māui’s canoe). It is also said that the navigator Kupe fought with a great octopus right here in Tory Channel. Some of the earliest remains of early Polynesian settlers were found at Wairau Bar. Māori made adzes from argillite rock, found on Rangitoto ki te Tonga (D’Urville Island).


There are lots of fishing charters available here in the Marlborough Sounds, who can get you on the fish. Stocks of the famous Blue Cod however have been reduced to a fraction of the original numbers and, as a result, the catch limit here is just 2 per person. Some of the best fishing can be found on the outer reaches of the sounds and around D’Urville Island and French Pass. Big snapper and Kingfish in season will have anglers working for their dinner.


The Marlborough Sounds offers divers some spectacular dives – walls, mussel farms, and wrecks including one of our most famous the Mikhail Lermontov – a cruise ship that sunk in 1986.

Must Do's

Yealands Family Wines – visit this stunning vineyard and drive through the acres of vines to visit butterfly zones, bird sanctuaries and listen to classical music being played to the resident chooks!

French Pass – stunningly beautiful pass where the currents swirl like a river.

Pelorus Bridge – Set in a scenic reserve, this is a great place to stop for a picnic and a swim.

Arbour Restaurant – Simply one of the best restaurants in New Zealand

The Queen Charlotte Track is 70km of history, incredible scenery. You can walk it or mountain bike without heavy gear with a network of water taxis available to transfer you to and from the track, and transfer your gear to your accommodation each night. The track is relatively easy walking, taking 3 to 5 days depending on how far you want to walk each day, and is a fantastic mountain bike ride, over 2 to 3 days.

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