The Mail Boat Cruise

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!

If time allows 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.

Beachcomber Cruises keep cups, we are proud to say we no longer use single use cups as every year New Zealanders throw away nearly 300 million disposable coffee cups – and only one out of every 400 is recycled. Throwing away one cardboard cup doesn't seem like much, but multiply that by the number of free coffee cups we gave away each year and the difference a reusable cup can make is clear. Changing habits takes time, but it's worth it. The environment is crucial to our well-being and to our future, and we should take every opportunity, however small, to reduce harm. We sell our own keep cups in office for $5.00 per cup so you can enjoy tea and coffee on board selected vessels. 

Please Note: Ship Cove visit is subject to change

* Please advise us prior to booking if you have an evening travel connection *

Summer/Winter departures
1.30pm - Monday to Saturday  

Tour Best Bits

  • Delivering mail to the local residents; say hi to the kids waiting for their school work
  • 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



Cruise Route Map

Monday and Thursday Mail Boat
Tuesday and Friday Mail Boat
Wednesday and Saturday Mail Boat
Saturday Mail Boat Add-on

Book online today!

Or call us on +64 3 573 6175

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Specials & Packages

We have a lot of summer packages planned.. visit this page regularly for updates! View all Packages