Experience the remote beauty of the Outer Queen Charlotte Sound on this unique one day guided kayak trip. After a relaxed boat ride from Picton or Sounds accommodation places, this tour begins at historic Ship Cove in the far reaches of the Queen Charlotte Sound and explores the nearby bays and coves before returning by water taxi to Picton. History and wildlife abounds here - and you can learn all about it from our knowledgeable, relaxed and friendly guides.
What makes this trip different? It is the only one day guided trip available throughout the year to this remote region of the Marlborough Sounds. You'll be with one of our most experienced and truly awesome guides who genuinely enjoy spending time with visitors to our region. Great food and great views (including Cook Strait) are had along the way and we pick the best direction to have the breeze at our backs wherever possible. You'll also have a chance to visit the Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary (weather permitting) - home to rare species of NZ native birds including little blue penguin, South Island Saddleback (Tieke) and friendly bush robins.
Meet at our centrally located office at the Picton Waterfront at 9am, time for a spot of paperwork and then we depart for Beachcomber Cruises depot and our water taxi to Ship Cove. Along the way, enjoy a cuppa while taking in the sights of the Marlborough Sounds and chatting about the trip ahead. We can collect guests from a number of Sounds accommodation en route to Ship Cove including Portage Hotel, Bay of Many Coves Resort and Craglee Lodge. Arrival time to Ship Cove is approximately 10.30am. This scenic and historic reserve is one of the Sounds' - and New Zealand's - most special historic spots. Remote, a tad wild and beautiful, the bays and coves nearby offer an extraordinary kayaking experience.
After a detailed safety briefing (we've been told by guests ours is one of the best in New Zealand!), it is time to set off on a great day's adventure. Your guide will be with you for the day to answer questions, share pearls of wisdom and ensure your comfort and wellbeing. Depending on the weather, we will vary our route each day to take advantage of sea breezes at our back - this one day guided kayak is in a remote area and good weather conditions are essential for the trip to depart. We are, however, able to tailor the trip route to plan for different conditions.
On any given day, you have a good chance of seeing a huge variety of sea birds including cormorants and sometimes little blue penguins, seals, huge starfish and even dolphins. If the weather allows, we will also take you for a stroll on the little-visited Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary. Impressive views are to be had from the lookout on the island and the birdlife is spectacular. And, don't forget lunch - we love our food and you'll be impressed at what goodies we can produce from out of the kayaks! Without a doubt, the best kayaking lunch on offer in the Marlborough Sounds and what's more, it is all sourced and made locally so you are truly supporting the local economy. We often stop at nearby Cannibal Cove, at the outer limit for kayakers in the Marlborough Sounds.
As our paddle draws to a close, we return to Ship Cove by 3pm and catch the world-famous Mail Run with Beachcomber Cruises home to Picton, stopping at a variety of bays as the boat delivers and collects supplies, mail and people in this fascinating glimpse of Sounds life. Time to reflect a remarkable day in a part of the Marlborough Sounds not often accessed by kayak. Return time to Picton is approximately 5.30pm.
We supply good quality double kayaks, PFDs (lifejackets), splash jackets, booties, spray decks and dry bags (including for your camera).
What Do You Need To Bring?
- Extra warm clothing - shorts and t-shirt is fine to wear over the summer months; polypropylene is great for cooler days!
- Sunhat & sunscreen
- Water bottle
- Camera (optional - dry bags available)
- Soft soled shoes that you don't mind getting wet - booties are also available.
- Any special dietary items or medication
- A sense of fun and adventure!
Price: $295NZ per person
(munchies & lunch included)