The Marlborough Sounds are one of New Zealand’s best-kept secrets – an area of sea-drowned valleys at the top of the South Island, where fingers of deep water reach between the hills. It is a maze of waterways dotted with small bays and tiny sounds. The waterways consist of three large sounds – Queen Charlotte Sound, Kenepuru Sound and Pelorus Sound.
Abundant indigenous forest around the Marlborough Sounds is home to native wildlife, while the deep waters teem with dolphins and seals. And it is here that you can sample the local delicacy – green-lipped mussels, washed down with that famed Marlborough wine – Sauvignon Blanc.
Most of the 550 mussel farms are located in the Marlborough Sounds, while one of the best wine regions in the world lies further inland with an abundance of acclaimed wineries where Marlborough’s finest Sauvignon Blancs can be sampled.
Whether visiting on a private yacht or planning a luxury yacht charter in New Zealand the area has plenty to offer.
Day 1: Picton / Tawa Bay
Join the yacht in Picton, a small, harbourside town, nestled at the head of Queen Charlotte Sound, known as ‘the gateway to the Marlborough Sounds’. Spend some time in the village, exploring quaint arts and crafts shops, or take a helicopter flight for a spectacular overview of the coastline.
Departing Picton Marina, cruise down Queen Charlotte Sound, taking in the magnificent scenery before anchoring in Tawa Bay in the Endeavour Inlet, one of the many places connected to Captain Cook, who used the Sounds as a base from which to explore the Southern Ocean. Spend the afternoon exploring bays and inlets by kayak.
Wine aficionados may wish to make an inland excursion to one of Malborough’s wineries for a wine tasting and end the day with a meal at Herzog Restaurant.