Depart Picton and cruise up through the Queen Charlotte Sound, along the way your skipper will provide a commentary on the surrounds, history and the wildlife be it bird, fish or mammal! You will cruise to the outer reaches of the Queen Charlotte Sound where you will visit Motuara Island a 'predator free bird sanctuary'. Spend thirty minutes here and encounter the variety of birds that inhabit this wonderful island, if you're lucky you may even catch a glimpse of a 'Little Blue Penguin'. On arrival at this magnificent island you will hear a chorus of songs from the local inhabitants. Follow the track which winds up to the highest point of the island and there awaits fantastic views across to Ship Cove. There is a spectacular view to the North Island from the Cook Straight Lookout. Lift the lid on one of many wooden nestling boxes along the track and a sleepy Little Blue Penguin may just glance up to see who is watching over him. Some of the wildlife you will see includes, Saddleback, NZ Robin, Bellbird, Tui, NZ Pigeon, Fantail, and if you are lucky maybe a Kiwi.
Motuara Island is a predator free island administered by the Department of Conservation
After leaving Motuara Island you will cruise to historical Ship Cove for 15 minutes. Named by Captain James Cook in 1770 when his ship The Endeavour anchored here to replenish supplies of food, water and wood. It became a favourite anchorage of Captain Cook and he returned here a further four times between 1770 and 1777.
Take the opportunity to dabble in the creek where Captain Cook made home brew for his crew and share the beach with the resident wildlife. Have your photo taken beside the Captain Cook Monument commemorating his visits to this area or just relax and enjoy the tranquil surrounds.
On re-joining your vessel cruise via the Endeavour inlet the most built up residential area of the Queen Charlotte Sounds, view the Salmon Farm before returning to Picton at approx 5:30pm
Summer/Winter time departures
1.30 pm Sunday only
• Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary – enjoy 30 minutes ashore here • 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 Marlborough Sounds and its residents from your friendly skipper