Cruise Highlights

  • An eco-marine haven for seals, penguins, dolphins & birds
  • Safe, spacious, modern, smooth riding vessel
  • Skipper's commentary on local history & natural world
  • Free tea & coffee served by your friendly boat crew
  • Easy access on board suits all ages
  • Historic sites including Captain Cook's anchorage.

Early Bird Eco Cruise

Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary / Ship Cove

The Queen Charlotte Sound is an eco-marine haven. Seals, dolphins, penguins, gannets and shearwaters abound. Our Department of Conservation Marine Mammal Watch permit allows us to interact with the local wildlife as we encounter them along the 55 minute journey through the Marlborough Sounds to Motuara Island.

Motuara Island is a bird sanctuary, a safe haven for many rare species, including the South Island Saddleback and Bush Robin. The Island is predator free and the bird life is relatively unafraid of humans.

Early morning bird song greets you as you step ashore. Small blue penguins nest in boxes alongside a well formed track which gradually climbs to a spectacular vantage point built above the forest canopy.

You will have approximately 2 hours to explore the Island.

Options to follow the island walk include:

A day walk from Resolution Bay to Furneaux Lodge on the Queen Charlotte Track – 10.5 km.
Cruise to a leisurely lunch stop at a Sounds Resort of your choice - Furneaux Lodge, Punga Cove Resort, Bay of Many Coves Resort, Portage Resort Hotel – return to Picton approx 4.30pm.
Explore Ship Cove and enjoy a picnic lunch at the place that Captain Cook and early Maori explorers enjoyed – return to Picton approx 4.30pm.
Cruise back to Picton via Ship Cove and Endeavour Inlet – arrive at Picton approx 1.00pm.
Guided options available.
Flora and Fauna identification sheet and map provided.
On board commentary by skipper highlights points of interest.
We suggest you bring along a rain jacket, water bottle, snacks, camera, sunscreen and insect repellent.
Please note: no wet weather shelter or toilet facilities are available on the island.

Departs Picton: daily at 8:00am Summer (October – April)
Returns Picton: 1pm & 4:30pm