Things you need to know in Marlborough Sounds

New Zealand

The Marlborough Sounds are an extensive network of sea-drowned valleys at the northern end of the South Island of New Zealand. The Marlborough Sounds were created by a combination of land subsidence and rising sea levels. According to Māori mythology, the sounds are the prows of the sunken wakas of Aoraki.

Enjoy long-sheltered inlets, clear waters and sandy bays. Hike through the forest or kayak around the headlands to discover a fresh location each day.

The steep, wooded hills and small quiet bays of the sounds are sparsely populated, as access is difficult. Many of the small settlements and isolated houses are only accessible by boat. The main large port is Picton on the mainland, at the head of Queen Charlotte Sound.

Tory Channel is a major arm of Queen Charlotte Sound, and between them, the Channel and the Sound isolate the hills of Arapaoa Island from the mainland. Other major islands in the sounds include D’Urville Island.

The Sounds are home to the entire breeding population of the rare and vulnerable rough-faced shag (also known as the New Zealand king cormorant) which nests on a small number of rocky islets there.

The Marlborough Sounds are made up of four distinctly different Sounds – Queen Charlotte, Kenepuru, Pelorus, and Mahau, at the top of New Zealand’s South Island.

The winding waterways of the Marlborough Sound make for brilliant boating, fishing, diving and wildlife viewing including dolphin watching.

The iconic Queen Charlotte Track can be explored by foot, mountain bike or sea kayak over one or several days. The 70km track passes through stunning landscapes, with accommodation and restaurants along the way.

At this point, the North Island is at its closest to the South Island, and the inter-island road, rail, and passenger ferry service between Picton and Wellington travel through the sounds.

The main channels of the Marlborough Sounds have calm water and are popular for sailing. Cook Strait, however, is infamous for its strong currents and rough waters, especially when the wind is from the south or north. Because of this, some of the narrow channels closer to the Strait are dangerous to navigate.

It’s some of the clearest, most still water you’ll see and it’d be an awesome place to swim on a nice day.

By: Synthetic

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