Activities in Marlborough

Situated in the unspoiled, sunny, north-eastern corner of the South Island, the Marlborough region is one of New Zealand’s most popular destinations for recreational pursuits. Marlborough is a spectacular place to holiday, all year round. Visitors can savour fine foods and award-winning wines at all times of the year.

With its coastal retreats, rivers, mountains and rural plains, Marlborough provides a ready escape from the pressures of city living. Take the opportunity to go fishing, sailing, diving, swimming, kayaking, tramping or hunting, then enjoy the warm hospitality at any of Marlborough’s dining establishments.

The Great Outdoors

My personal recommendation is…

E-Ko Tours

Experience the magic of the Marlborough Sounds with E-Ko Tours – swim with the dolphins, bird watchers expeditions, scenic wildlife cruises and private charters. We can personally recommend the Motuara Island Sanctuary and Dolphin Watching Tour.

Other local Activities

• Diving
• Dolphin swimming/watching
• Eco Tours
• Fishing
• Nelson and Nelson Lakes
• Sea Kayaking
• Tours Around the Sounds
• Trekking in the Sounds
• Whale Watching
• Wine Tasting
• Yachting
• The Marlborough Wine & Food Festival
• Classic Fighters
• Havelock Mussel Festival
• Winter wine Makers Workshop
• Sauvignon Blanc Deep Water Yacht Race


Getting About

Get a ferry to Picton

There are two companies that have ferries running several times a day between Wellington and Picton. They cater for motor vehicles, foot passengers and freight.

Or fly in on a “puddle jumper”

Local airline Sounds Air flies between Picton and Wellington 3 or 4 times a day during the winter and more often during the summer. Sounds Air also service other small centres such as Blenheim, Nelson, Taupo and Paraparaumu. The 20 minute flight between Picton and Wellington is often a stunning experience.

Rental cars

There are several options for hiring cars in the Picton area, and mostly they can be picked near the ferry terminals.

Taxi services

Picton doesn’t have a taxi service, but several businesses provide shuttle services for their customers. If you have a group that can share fares, A1 Picton shuttles are an option.

Water taxis

The cheapest option is usually to choose a company that has scheduled trips, which are a bit cheaper than having your own private trip. But sometimes you just need to go when you need to go! The water taxi services include:

Most of the water taxis also have scheduled cruises, so check them out for both options.

Food and Drink


The Dine Marlborough website showcases your many options for dining.

Vineyards and Wine tours

Check out Wine Marlborough for information about Marlborough’s wineries, vineyards and festival events.

Marlborough Wine Tours offer flexible wine tours, personalised to meet your needs and expectations.

More Great Outdoors

Sounds By Sail

For those looking for something totally unforgettable, for corporate groups and overseas visitors; a yachting experience with Sounds By Sail offers unparalleled levels of sophistication and hospitality in the tranquil waters of the stunning Marlborough Sounds.

Wilderness Guides

Wilderness Guides offers hiking the famous Queen Charlotte track, biking and sea kayaking tours from just a few hours to multiple days.

Farm Tours

Molesworth High Country Farm Tours offer one day tours, nature tours, 4 wheel drive tours, high country tours plus cycling tours.

Marlborough Sounds Adventure Company

Marlborough Sounds Adventure Company specialises in guided and independent sea kayaking, walking, hiking and mountain biking holiday tours of the Queen Charlotte Track and the beautiful Marlborough Sounds.


A number of companies offer a variety of cruises, including:

  • Maori Eco Cruises who specialise in personalized Eco-Tours on a classic launch called “Tutanekai” that has a character and charm. Visit remote bays & inlets and view dolphins, seals, bird colonies and shipwrecks. Learn about the local Maori culture.
  • Beachcomber Fun Cruises who offer a selection of boat trips through the Marlborough Sounds – including the Magic Mail Run and flexible trips that will let you explore the Queen Charlotte Track.

Sounds Connection

Sounds Connection are positioned as the leading providers of quality tours of the Marlborough Region of New Zealand. Tours include visits to local wineries, arts and crafts, transport requirements and at sea, fishing trips on the famous “Sea Bud” launch.

Kaikoura Scenic Flights

A visit to the South Island of New Zealand is not complete without a stop-over at the whale watching capital of New Zealand… Kaikoura, where visitors can enjoy the spectacular and beautiful coastal marine environment – playground to the majestic Sperm whales. A whale watch scenic flight is one good option.

More entertainment options

Discover Marlborough is a web directory of vacation information, activities and adventure in the friendly, secluded paradise that is Marlborough, New Zealand.

The Visit Picton website has a lot of information helpful for your Picton holiday