The Mail has been delivered by boat for over 150 years in the Queen Charlotte Sounds and we are proud to uphold that service! We are the only official licensed New Zealand Post Rural Delivery Service by water in the Queen Charlotte Sound / Tōtaranui making this a truly unique and interesting tour!
Designed to take you off the beaten tourist path so you can experience the real Queen Charlotte Sounds / Tōtaranui.
Come along with us on the Mail Boat Cruise and share the excitement of Mail Day as the skipper delivers the New Zealand Rural post bags, groceries and freight to the residents that call the Queen Charlotte Sound waterways home.
Operating from Monday to Saturday, no one day is the same as the route changes daily covering a different area delivering the Mail. People often ask what the best day to go is, or what route we like the best, but each mail route has its own highlights.
Sit back and relax, take in our skippers amazing wealth of knowledge as they provide an interesting and informative commentary. The Mail Boat vessel Matua presents excellent viewing areas and is the most comfortable way of cruising and taking in the vista of the waterways of the Queen Charlotte Sounds. Keep your camera handy for any wildlife encounters!
In the Summer months the Mail Boat Cruise takes a short stop at Historic Ship Cove/Meretoto. Named by Captain James Cook in January 1770 when his ship the Endeavour anchored here to replenish supplies of food, water and wood. January 2020 will mark 250 years since James Cook sailed the Endeavour into Meretoto/Ship Cove in Tōtaranui/Queen Charlotte Sound. Explore the stories and history of the beginning of our nation Aotearoa New Zealand.
Please Note: Ship Cove is not visited from 20th March 2020 - 30th Sept 2020
* Please advise us prior to booking if you have an evening travel connection *
1.30pm - Monday to Saturday
The arrival time back into Picton is an estimate only which varies each day and is dependent upon a number of factors including the route, how much mail there is to deliver and how many pick ups/drop offs we have along the way. During the warmer months we generally arrive back at the later estimated time, in winter it tends to be earlier. If time is limited please let us know at the time of booking so we can discuss the best option for you.
Tour Best Bits
Delivering mail to the local residents; say hi to the kids waiting for their school work
15 minutes ashore at Ship Cove, a favourite anchorage of Captain Cook's
View the resident wildlife and marine mammals such as New Zealand Fur Seals and visiting dolphins
Learn the history of the Queen Charlotte Sound and its residents from your friendly skipper