Cruise enchanting Marlborough Sounds with a marine biologist guide while observing the bountiful marine life and then visit a wildlife sanctuary dedicated to protecting indigenous New Zealand birds.
After departing from the pier, you will soon board a catamaran and cruise into Marlborough Sounds, a collection of ancient river valleys now covered by the ocean. Along the way, a marine biologist will point out the seabirds and marine creatures that are typically seen. You can hand feed fish with special food (locally produced and designed to keep them healthy). This makes you part of active marine conservation, by helping preserve local Snapper, Blue Cod and Yellow Eyed Mullet populations. You might get to see New Zealand fur seals and blue penguins, the world’s smallest species of penguin. They tend to congregate on the water’s surface in small groups called rafts and then dive to feed on fish and squid.
Upon disembarking at the predator-free Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary, you will see even more avian species, particularly those that live in the bush. As you follow a trail past indigenous trees such as the towering tawa, you may catch a glimpse of wekas, fantails, bellbirds, Tuis, Moreporks, Silver eyes, Brown creepers, grey warblers and coastal birds like penguins, spotted shags, pied shags and oyster catchers as well as several lizards and other invertebrates. You’ll follow a trail through the bush and up a hill to a small bird bath before meandering along through gentle gradients up to approximately 100m above sea level where you will be treated with the best view in the lower sound. At this fantastic panoramic viewpoint sit down and enjoy glass of famous Marlborough wine or juice and some locally grown fruit at the idyllically located picnic tables. It is the perfect place to feel the true ambience of the sounds, reflect and re-fresh your soul.
Need to Know:
Note: While wildlife sightings are likely, they are not guaranteed. Sturdy closed toe footwear is highly recommended.