Cruise the pristine waters of Queen Charlotte Sound on a catamaran, rounding the rugged shoreline, taking in the natural beauty and even feeding fish in a serene cove.
Depart right from the pier on a comfortable catamaran designed for optimal viewing on the typically calm waters of Queen Charlotte Sound. Like all of the sounds within the larger system of Marlborough Sounds, Queen Charlotte was formed when the surrounding river valleys filled with water during the end of the last ice age, approximately 10,000 years ago. It's separated from the other sounds by steep, serrated hills.
Scattered settlements dot the rugged shoreline, most of them so isolated that they can only be reached by boat. The landscape and lush forests haven't changed enormously since Captain James Cook sheltered here during his exploratory voyages in the 1770s. Indeed, the unspoiled natural beauty remains one of the primary draws of this magnificent sound named for Queen Charlotte, the wife of England's King George III. In homage to Captain Cook, there's a monument at Ship Cove that celebrates his achievements.
You'll also spend time in Double Cove feeding the fish, which usually include herring, mullet and cod. Don't be surprised if you see king shags, a type of cormorant, swooping in, as they are highly skilled at catching fish. Still, no matter where you sail on the sound, it's the panoramic views that capture your heart and forever remain in your memory.
After approximately 2 1/2 hours, you will find yourself back at the pier in Picton, where your tour concludes.
Please note: This tour includes very limited walking and is mostly seated. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability to enter and exit the catamaran with limited assistance. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed.