Taste fresh greenshell mussels, help deliver the local mail by boat in the Pelorus Sound and hike among the hills surrounding this idyllic coastal village.
Havelock is a small historic town in the labyrinthian Marlborough Sounds region of New Zealand’s South Island. Known as the “Greenshell Mussel Capital of the World,” Havelock is the best place to go for fresh mussels. While there, enjoy the scenic Pelorus Sound and rugged, lush countryside that surrounds it.
Walk around town to get a feel for this small, charming community. Havelock retains some characteristic old colonial buildings from its boom days as a gold mining town in the late 1800s. Visit the Havelock Museum in the old Methodist church to learn about the timber and gold rush eras. Drive up to Cullen Point Lookout just to the northeast of town to get a view back down over the town and out over the sounds.
Delve further into the abundant nature surrounding Havelock. Take a guided kayak trip on the Pelorus River. As you paddle along, take in the lush scenery and learn about the flora and fauna. This is a must-do for fans of the New Zealand movie The Hobbit, as you get to visit actual film locations.
Get a feel for the surrounding community and enjoy the sights at a relaxed pace by joining the Pelorus Mail Boat on its day-long delivery round to the remote residents in the region. Mail has been delivered like this since 1918. Listen to stories about the way of life and history of the Marlborough Sounds from your knowledgeable hosts. Watch for dolphins, seals and birds that thrive in this pristine environment.
Continue your nature discovery with a trip to the Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve. Enjoy a gentle stroll on one of the short tracks or challenge yourself to a longer hike. Check out the giant totara tree and cross the swing bridge, relax with a picnic beside the river or jump in for a refreshing swim.
Finish off with a relaxing boat trip to visit a mussel farm. See how the mussels are grown and harvested. On the way back, take in the iconic scenery of the Marlborough Sounds, taste freshly cooked mussels paired with a glass of Marlborough sauvignon blanc. In Havelock you really see, feel, experience and even taste nature at its finest.