Queen Charlotte Sound

Travel Guide
Queen Charlotte Sound which includes a bay or harbour and a ferry

A placid and swollen river, the easternmost of New Zealand’s South Island sounds is a popular destination for sailors, and anyone who appreciates breathtaking natural scenery.

Explore Marlborough’s Queen Charlotte Sound on foot or by bicycle, boat or car for an accessible and breathtaking natural experience. Queen Charlotte Sound is the furthest east of the Marlborough Sounds and is among the most frequented by visitors, thanks to its regular ferry services to the North Island. Stretching from the peaceful town of Picton in the south to the Cook Strait in the east, Queen Charlotte Sound is gentle, sheltered and surrounded by natural beauty.

Follow the shoreline of the sound on the challenging but incredibly rewarding Queen Charlotte Track to see the sound on foot. The 70-kilometre (43-mile) trail is one of New Zealand’s most famous hikes, winding through lush rainforest, into historic bays and over gushing streams. From March until November the trail opens for mountain bikers. You can rent bicycles from within Picton. The trail can take between 3 and 5 days to complete. If you want to take it easy on your return journey, book a water taxi.

Explore the sound by boat or kayak to get close to its marine life. Embark on a chartered fishing tour to catch salmon or don your wetsuit to go diving for crayfish. Look for dolphins swimming in the sound as you explore its inlets, bays and beaches. While the temperate climate of the Marlborough Region means that conditions on the sound remain pleasant year-round, the best weather is often experienced from November until May.

Travel along the Queen Charlotte Drive towards Havelock for 35 kilometres (22 miles) of winding roads that climb to a lookout at Cullen Point and take you past quiet beaches ideal for swimming.

A range of accommodation can be found throughout the Queen Charlotte Sound area, however Picton is the only substantial township on the water. Make reservations for eco-lodges or hotels with stunning views across the water.

Historic Former Whaler's School Cottage
Historic Former Whaler's School Cottage
Queen Charlotte Sound, Marlborough
The price is NZ$242 per night from 26 Sep. to 26 Sep.
5/5Exceptional! (4 reviews)
Easter holiday
"Wonderful hosts and a wonderful location. We’ll definitely be back."

Reviewed on 8 Apr. 2021

Historic Former Whaler's School Cottage
Bay of Many Coves Resort
Bay of Many Coves Resort
5 out of 5
The price is NZ$1,077 per night from 26 Sep. to 26 Sep.
Situated in Arthur's Bay, this luxury lodge is 2.2 mi (3.6 km) from Dryden Bay and within 12 miles (20 km) of Queen Charlotte Walkway and Kenepuru Sounds. Motuara ...
4.9/5Exceptional! (22 reviews)
Not sure about 5 star
"Unique location accessible only by water taxi so getting charged an extra $200 for the privilege of getting to and from the hotel mildly amusing or if you’re remotely budget constrained a bit of a cheek. However service at the bight cafe venue was truly dreadful for a purportedly 5 star hotel. Being ..."

Reviewed on 21 Jan. 2020

Bay of Many Coves Resort
Little Colonsay/Beach  House
Little Colonsay/Beach House
Picton, Marlborough
The price is NZ$667 per night from 26 Sep. to 26 Sep.
Little Colonsay/Beach House
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Historic Former Whaler's School Cottage
Historic Former Whaler's School Cottage
Queen Charlotte Sound, Marlborough
The price is NZ$242 per night from 26 Sep. to 26 Sep.
5/5Exceptional! (4 reviews)
Easter holiday
"Wonderful hosts and a wonderful location. We’ll definitely be back."

Reviewed on 8 Apr. 2021

Historic Former Whaler's School Cottage
Little Colonsay/Beach  House
Little Colonsay/Beach House
Picton, Marlborough
The price is NZ$667 per night from 26 Sep. to 26 Sep.
Little Colonsay/Beach House
Dramatic views of Tory Channel and the West Head
Dramatic views of Tory Channel and the West Head
Queen Charlotte Sound, Marlborough
The price is NZ$302 per night from 26 Sep. to 26 Sep.
5/5Exceptional! (6 reviews)
Paradise
"The only thing I would change is next time, I am bringing my dive gear! Lovely hosts and a quaint cottage that has a one of a kind view. Ask for a tour of the Paua Farm, it's incredible!"

Reviewed on 17 Jan. 2021

Dramatic views of Tory Channel and the West Head
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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