1. New Zealand
  2. Marlborough, New Zealand
  3. Picton
  4. Marlborough Sounds

Queen Charlotte Sound Mail Boat Cruise from Picton

Product ID: 179879
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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
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Mobile ticketing
Duration 4 hours
Starting time 1:30 PM
Instant confirmation
Live tour guide
Wheelchair accessible

Select participants and date:



  • 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
  • Sip complimentary tea and coffee throughout the cruise
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.

In the summer months, the Mail Boat Cruise takes a short stop at Historic Ship Cove. Step ashore where Captain Cook's Endeavour anchored here to replenish supplies of food, water and wood in January 1770. You'll have 15 minutes here to explore the beach and see a memorial to Captain Cook as well as wood-carved Maori statues. Read informative displays about the island and search for birdlife such as oyster catchers, weka and paradise ducks.
  • Scenic cruise
  • Live commentary in English
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
Not suitable for
  • People with mobility impairments
  • Wheelchair users

Prepare for the activity

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
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)

From US$ 74.74 per person

Customer reviews
Overall rating
4.5 / 5
based on 45 reviews
Review summary
Value for money

Organized by

Beachcomber Cruises

Product ID: 179879