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. Our 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.
On arrival you will be greeted by Mike and Antonia Radon, the owners of Arapawa Seafarms, where the unique Blue Pearl or Paua Pearls are grown. They 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. Tours takes approximately 1 hour.
Once you have finished your tour venture up to the Radon homestead, where you will be served light refreshments before heading back to Picton. Take the time to view the rare and exclusive pearls in custom made jewellery, the only place in the world where you can buy these unique pearls.