The stunning Marlborough Sounds is famous for its beautiful bays and inlets, among them Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds. You can enjoy the wonderful coastal views on the Queen Charlotte and Nydia tracks, or catch a boat out to the Vernon Lagoon Wildlife Reserve to see the region's birdlife. The spectacular drowned river valleys of Marlborough Sounds provide some 1500km of sheltered bays and waterways ideal for cruising, kayaking, fishing and diving.

Located at the head of the Queen Charlotte Sound, Picton is the main centre of Marlborough Sounds,and the southern terminal for the interisland ferry service. Its newly revamped shopping centre has a fine selection of arts, crafts, souvenirs, cafés and restaurants. You can visit Picton’s floating maritime museum or book a tour to go cruising, fishing or dolphin watching.

Hikers and mountain bikers can tackle the Queen Charlotte Track, a highlight of the Marlborough Sounds area, or head to the tiny village of Havelock at the head of remote Pelorus Sound, the greenshell mussel capital of the world. You can take a nature cruise or hire a kayak to explore Pelorus Sound’s craggy mountain peaks and maze of bays and islands. Nearby is the historic goldmining town of Canvastown. This region also encompasses D'Urville Island, the sheltered harbour of Port Underwood and the sandy beaches of Cloudy Bay.