Sea, Pearls and Helicopters

Sea, Pearls and Helicopters

On arrival in Picton you will be met by your Beachcomber Cruises guide who will escort you to your private vessel. Depart Picton and cruise through the Queen Charlotte Sound, a myriad of waterways and tranquil bays whilst enjoying a commentary from your friendly skipper and guide. Your destination, approximately one hour by boat, is Whekenui Bay on Arapawa Island, a small island of 75km² (29 square miles) flanked by Queen Charlotte Sound, Tory Channel and the Cook Strait. From the late 1820’s until the mid 1960’s Arapawa Island was a whaling base in the Marlborough Sounds. The whaling industry long since abandoned, has given way to salmon, mussel and oyster farms which we will pass as we travel to Whekenui Bay, home to the Radon family. 

You will be greeted by Mike and Antonia Radon, the owners of Arapawa Seafarms, where the unique Blue Paua Pearls are grown. Venture up to the Radon homestead, where you will be served light refreshments. Mike and Antonia will personally guide you on a tour of the farm, which is not only a place of work but also their home. Discover how the Blue Pearl came to be and see how they are produced. Depending on the time of year, it’s possible to see paua of all sizes, from dust-specs in a larval rearing tank to full size paua with pearl inserts. Don’t miss this opportunity to glimpse a unique part of New Zealand marine life and spend time with experts in the paua industry. After your tour you will have the opportunity to view or purchase these exclusive pearls loose or in custom made jewellery. Tours takes approximately 90mins.

Join Coast to Coast Helicopters as your private helicopter awaits you, take off from Arapawa island and enjoy the amazing sights off the Marlborough sounds, these large waterways make up 20% of New Zealand’s coastline. This scenic flight will have you viewing some of the most amazing views before been dropped off at your lunch destination of your choice.

Sit back and soak up the views while you have lunch in the Marlborough Sounds, enjoying a beautifully prepared fresh lunch to excite and appetize your tastes, perhaps try a glass of Marlborough Wine to accompany your meal while you enjoy the tranquil and peaceful settings.

 Your last Helicopter take off of the tour will have you seeing more spectacular sights, the backbone of the South Island – the grand Kaikoura Ranges with an uninterrupted view of some of New Zealand’s best landscape. A fantastic photo opportunity!

 Landing at the Elevation Lodge just outside of Picton and nestled in the mountain ranges don’t miss another spectacular photo spot as you look down through the Queen Charlotte Sounds flanked by the hills and peaks covered in native New Zealand bushlands surrounding the sparkling blue water of the sound. Enjoy the sights before being transferred back to the Picton Waterfront.

For bookings or enquiries please email: [email protected]

*Please note there must be a minimum of 2 passangers and a maximum of 4 passangers for this cruise to operate*

Operates year round

* Cruise via salmon, mussel and oyster farms.

* Discover how the Blue Pearl came to be and see how they are produced.

* Served light refreshments with views from the homestead.

* View the rare and exclusive pearls in custom made jewellery.

* Helicopter pick up from Paua Farm - scenic flight

* Lunch in the Marlborough Sounds

* Second helicopter take off back to starting point. 

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Or call us on +64 3 573 6175

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