Marlborough sounds yacht charter itinerary

The Marlborough Sounds is located at the top of New Zealand’s South Island. It is home to marine reserves, wildlife reserves, and private land. The Marlborough region is covered in vineyards, which produce some of the best Sauvignon Blanc in the world. The cruising is mostly in sheltered waters and there is a myriad of protected bays in which to anchor. There is great fishing, diving, and hiking within the Marlborough Sounds, while a wine trail though some of the Vineyards is a must for the wine enthusiast. The Marlborough Sounds is also home to the famous New Zealand green lip mussel.

day 1   Cruising Queen Charlotte Sound

You will be met at the airport in Blenheim, which is a 20-minute drive from Picton Marina. Departing from the Marina you will cruise Queen Charlotte Sound, taking in the numerous bays and inlets to Endeavor Inlet, where there are several options for an anchorage.

day 2   Ship’s Cove

Walk a beautiful track through native bush, from Resolution Bay to Ship’s Cove for a picnic lunch on the shore. This is the site where Captain James Cook anchored his ship for up to three months at a time for repair and replenishment, during his discovery voyages in the South Pacific. Nearby to Ship’s Cove is Long Island (marine reserve) for great diving, and Motuara Island (Bird Sanctuary) for a fantastic hill top lookout point which is also home to several rare and endangered species.

day 3   Pelorus Sound

Make your way around to Pelorus Sound on the third day. If you enjoy diving, it is possible to stop to dive the wreck of the Mikhail Lermontov cruise ship in Port Gore, before moving onto the Chetwode Islands for some fishing. In the late afternoon you will relocate into an anchorage in the outer Pelorus where your chef will cook your fish for dinner.

day 4   Tennyson Inlet

Proceed further into Pelorus Sound to “World’s End” in Tennyson Inlet - a native forest reserve. From the head of the inlet a one and a half hour climb through the bush will give you stunning views overlooking Nydia Bay to the south. You can relax and enjoy the beauty of ‘World’s End’ or relocate late afternoon.

day 5   Wine Tasting and Green Lip Mussels

Head further into head of the Pelorus Sound. Havelock is a small town, and is home of the green lip mussel. This is a great place to begin and end a day of wine tasting in the nearby vineyards including ‘St Clair’, ‘Cloudy Bay’, ‘Huia’, ‘Allan Scott’, and ‘Wither Hill’s’, to name just a few.

day 6   D’Urville Island

Explore the Kenepuru Sound in the morning and visit St Omer or Portage, before heading out of Pelorus Sound and over to D’Urville Island, perhaps passing through French Pass if the current is not too strong. There is a choice of anchor:  Greville Harbour or Port Hardy – two natural protected harbours.

day 7   The Brothers Islands

If the trip is to finish in Nelson then why not spend another day in the Pelorus Sound / D’Urville Island area? If heading back to Picton, then it will be time to get underway for Queen Charlotte Sound, perhaps going past ‘The Brothers’ Islands and in through Tory Channel to visit one of the early whaling stations which has been preserved. With numerous anchorages to choose from you can take your pick. Bay of Many Coves has an excellent restaurant should you feel like a meal ashore.

day 8   Teppanyaki Flybridge

Leisurely cruise back to Picton after a sumptuous breakfast cooked on the Teppanyaki hot plate on the Flybridge, and you will arrive in time to meet your onward travel. Perhaps you are heading to Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world. Activities to enjoy there include bungee jumping, skydiving, white water rafting and much more – the ideal place for thrill seekers. Alternatively you can play a round of golf as a guest on a private course that will be hosting the next 3 New Zealand Opens.