Water activity

Queen Charlotte Sound Mail Boat Cruise from Picton

Activity provider: Beachcomber Cruises
Water activity

Queen Charlotte Sound Mail Boat Cruise from Picton

Activity provider: Beachcomber Cruises

From US$ 69.40 per person


Enjoy a scenic afternoon cruise on a working mail boat to share the excitement of Mail Day. Join the skipper as they deliver post, groceries and freight to the residents that call the sound's waterways home.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details.
Duration 4 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide
Wheelchair accessible


  • Deliver mail to the local residents and say 'hi' to the kids waiting for their schoolwork
  • Admire wildlife and marine mammals like New Zealand Fur Seals and visiting dolphins
  • Learn the history of the Queen Charlotte Sound and its residents from your friendly skipper
  • Step ashore at Ship Cove, a favourite anchorage of Captain Cook's, during the summer months
Full description
Climb aboard the only official licensed New Zealand Post Rural Delivery Service by water in the Queen Charlotte Sound for a truly unique and interesting tour! Join in the excitement of Mail Day as the skipper delivers the New Zealand Rural post bags, groceries and freight to the residents that call the Queen Charlotte Sound waterways home. The Mail has been delivered by boat for over 150 years in the Queen Charlotte Sounds. Admire Marlborough Sounds' magnificent scenery and take a glimpse into daily life in the remote outposts of this region. Operating from Monday to Saturday, no one day is the same. The route changes daily, covering a different area and delivering the mail. During your cruise your skipper will provide interesting and informative commentary on the history of the Marlborough Sounds and the people who lived there then and now. Feel free to ask questions and keep your camera handy for any wildlife encounters.
  • Scenic cruise
  • Live commentary in English
    Not suitable for
    • People with mobility impairments
    • Wheelchair users

    Select participants and date



    Meeting point

    Please meet at the Beachcomber Cruises Office. Check-in is 30 minutes prior to your tour departure time.

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    Important information

    What to bring

    • Sun hat
    • Sunscreen
    • Weather-appropriate clothing
    • Sports shoes

    Know before you go

    • You are welcome to bring your own food and drinks to consume on board
    • Please advise at time of booking if you have a connection or are a cruise ship passenger
    • Closed-toe walking shoes suitable for walking are recommended
    • Not accessible for motorized wheelchairs
    • The stop at Ship Cove is only available during summer months (1 October to 30 April)
    • Tea and coffee is available to purchase prior to your departure for $6, which includes a complimentary "Keep Cup" to take away with you
    Customer reviews

    Overall rating

    4.7 /5

    based on 201 reviews

    Review summary

    • Guide
    • Transportation
    • Service
    • Organization

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    Star rating:

    Great Captain & very informative but in an interesting & fun way. The ladies that checked us in were so helpful & also friendly. The boat was quite spacious & the tea & coffee that you could just help yourself too was great. Also liked that we got to keep the take away cup as a momento of this great company, staff & cruise.

    February 24, 2023

    We weren’t a long way into the sound and had several stops to drop off and pick up mail. Also able to get off and have a walk though the bush to Furneaux lodge. Couldn’t hear the guide on the speakers most of the time, one toilet not working, seats at the back outside had little views, and there weren’t the advertised refreshments, all of which was disappointing. It was very crowded on the way back.

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    February 12, 2023

    Wonderful trip on the Mailboat Ferry along Queen Charlotte Pass, going into wilderness area. The trip was wonderful and the Skipper was so knowledgeable and interesting. It passed our expectations, especially when we landed to look around for a small while, seeing the smallest dolphins in the world and meeting the locals as they collected their mail. A beautiful cruise and stunning scenery, a must do in Picton.

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    November 29, 2022

    Product ID: 179879