Cruise Holiday in The Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand

Val MillsStarred Page By Val Mills, 11th Jun 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Oceania>New Zealand>Marlborough, Nelson & Kaikoura

A seven day cruise holiday in the Marlborough Sounds of New Zealand is a complete break away from a busy lifestyle. The Sounds are alive with natural beauty, early New Zealand history and fishing.

Aboard the Cruise Boat

We arrived in Picton on a cold blustery, supposed to be summer day. We looked down on our home for the next seven days, the Affinity, moored and waiting for us. Excitement mingled with apprehension. We’d never spent a week in such a confined space before with people we didn’t know. Once on board, Brian, our host and skipper soon put us all at rest and we were on our way.

The Beauty of the Sounds

Imagine awakening our first morning to birds singing, not a breath of wind and the Affinity being lapped by still deep water. We were in a sheltered little bay none of us had ever heard of before.
If this was an indication of pleasure ahead, we couldn’t wait.
From then on, every day was a balance of walking and sightseeing, eating and relaxing. It was extremely well planned, with options of short walks and long walks. I’d never walked for four or more hours before but decided to give it a go. Patience was the necessary ingredient, walking at the pace of the slowest group member and giving each other encouragement. I can now say I’ve walked sections of the Queen Charlotte Track, and wouldn’t have missed the views for anything.

Motuara Island, Bird Sanctuary

New Zealand’s first English contact was Captain James Cook, and we visited Motuara Island. It’s only a short walk to the top, Brian assured us. A short walk, yes, but a very steep one. Motuara is where Captain Cook stood and declared the islands of New Zealand now belonged to Queen Victoria of England. It is now a native bird sanctuary and can only be visited by boat.
Captain James Cook, the famous Pacific navigator, made his base at nearby Ship Cove in Queen Charlotte Sound on each of his three trips. There was a real feel of history as we explored the area, knowing this was the real beginning of European history in New Zealand.

Scallops, Mussels - Seafood of the Sounds

Mussel farming is a growing industry in New Zealand and we were privileged to view a mussel farm up close. There wasn’t a lot to see, but if you are a shellfish fan like we are, seeing the mussel farm was a highlight. Our guide for the day was a retired teacher who had been one of the original people establishing mussel farming in this part of New Zealand. He was a great story teller and we heard fascinating tales of the early mussel farming hardships.
We also witnessed Brian and the Affinity fishing for our own deep water scallops and later cooked them on the barbecue. What a treat that was, eating freshly caught scallops.

Cruise Holiday in the Marlborough Sounds

There were many highlights throughout the week, all of them being part of some of the most beautiful scenery one could imagine. After a week we returned, tired but relaxed after our experience away from our busy lives.
Marlborough Sounds is a truly beautiful place and we’re so glad we made the decision to holiday there in a unique part of our country. There is no doubt that the best way to experience this part of New Zealand is aboard a small cruise boat such as the Affinity.


Cruise Holiday, Marlborough Sounds, Motuara Island, Mussel Farm, New Zealand, Queen Charlotte Sound

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author avatar Val Mills
Self-published writer, coffee drinker, enjoying life. Also found at and

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author avatar johnnydod
12th Jun 2010 (#)

Yerrrr Glad you made it Val.. wonderful article

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author avatar standing♥proud
13th Jun 2010 (#)

How I miss home .:).
Good to see you here Val.
You have a star page already how wonderful,Congrats.

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author avatar zed
16th Feb 2011 (#)

love the pictures!
great place. thanks for sharing :)

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