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Visit the remote communities of Queen Charlotte Sound aboard a working mail boat. This scenic 4-hour boat cruise departs Picton in the afternoon and makes New Zealand Post rural delivery service along different routes each day of the week. Experience the lifestyle of the Marlborough Sounds firsthand as the boat captain shares regional history and stories of these isolated hamlets. Enjoy complimentary tea and coffee on board and disembark for a 15-minute stop at Ship Cove. 

Highlights

  • 4-hour cruise through Queen Charlotte Sound on the mail boat, from Picton
  • Travel with the only official New Zealand Post rural water delivery service in the region
  • See remote communities in the Marlborough Sounds, which constitute a fifth of New Zealand’s coastline
  • Visit Ship Cove, a favorite anchorage of Captain Cook and site of early contact between Maoris and Europeans
  • Learn about the history of the region from your experienced captain
  • Disembark at Ship Cove to see the Captain Cook memorial, Maori wood carvings and stroll along the beach

What You Can Expect

Queen Charlotte Sound Mail Boat Cruise

The Mail Boat

View the magnificent scenery of the Marlborough Sounds and get a glimpse of daily life in the remote outposts via New Zealand Post rural delivery service through Queen Charlotte Sound.

Meet the mail boat in the afternoon at the Picton waterfront, and relax with complimentary tea and coffee on board. The 4-hour boat tour travels into various bays, coves and inlets detailed by the captain, then wraps up with a stop at Ship Cove where Captain Cook anchored the Endeavor in 1770.

You have 15 minutes here to explore the beach and see a memorial to Captain Cook as well as wood-carved Maori statues. Read informative displays about the island and search for birdlife such as oyster catchers, weka and paradise ducks.

Mail routes change depending on the day of the week; see the Itinerary for a sample of scheduled delivery. 

Itinerary

Customer Reviews

Russell H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2016

Great trip. Enjoy the commentary by the skipper, lots of,tales to tell plus local history. Also good stories about th people we dropped off mail and supplies to. The boat was very stable, even in some of the rough stuff close to Cook Straight. Well worth doing.

N M M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

Excellent - well worth of doing.

Marie-Therese B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

Excellent. The scenery was beautiful and it was very interesting to visit the outlying places that people lived.

sue E

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2016

Excellent value for money. The boat trip which lasted a whopping 5 hrs a little longer than expected made you realise just how huge the Sound is. in all that time we only got to see a small part of it. Chance to see places that otherwise you would never see. Folk who live in places where the only means of transport is via boat. Saw Dolphins and seals. Definitely worth going if you have an afternoon to spare.

Bede W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Easy booking in process.Plenty of tea and coffee available. Julian the captain very knowledgeable and friendly. Tour over ran by about an hour but that was included as part of the briefing prior to getting on the boat

Patricia M M

4 star rating: Recommended March 2016

Thoroughly enjoyed the tour.

ADRIAN F

4 star rating: Recommended February 2016

Excellent a must to do if half a day to spare and a real sence of history to stand on the strand at Cook Bay. The only criticism was that there was to much commentary on who paid what for which property.but may be NZ is becoming as voyeuristic with property as us Brits....sad isn't it!

N M M

1 star rating: I do not recommend this April 2016

A great trip - gives understanding of the size of the Sounds.

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