Mail Boat Cruise of Queen Charlotte Sounds

Queen Charlotte Sounds departing Picton

Oops... This product is no longer available.

Don't worry, there are plenty of similar experiences for Tours & Attractions and Cruises.


  • Official mail delivery service boat
  • Incredible and unique way to explore the Marlborough Sounds
  • Different route every day

This isn't your ordinary cruise! Jump aboard the official mail boat for the Queen Charlotte Sounds and join the skipper on the daily mail run to the bays and inlets of the Sounds. A unique way to explore this stunning area.

Why You'll Love This

What's Included?

  • Afternoon cruise of the Queen Charlotte Sounds
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Short stop off at Ship Cove
  • Stunning views
  • Plenty of photo opportunities

This mail boat is the only official licensed New Zealand Post rural delivery service by water in the Queen Charlotte Sounds. Share the excitement of Mail Day as our skipper delivers the mail to the families that live in the various bays and inlets in the Queen Charlotte Sounds. Say hi to the kids waiting at the wharves for their schoolwork or greet the many animals that come down to meet the boat.

During your cruise your skipper will provide a 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 unscheduled encounters with local wildlife. Each route has its own highlights. whether it be the pigs at East Bay, the marching chickens at Big Dog Bay or Oscar the Mail Dog at Blackwood Bay.

Each cruise route will include a short stop at Ship Cove, where James Cook anchored his ship the Endeavour in January 1770 to replenish supplies. Explore the traditional Maori carvings here or read through the information panels about the history of the cove.

On the Day

Session Length

  • Available Monday - Saturday
  • Departs at 1.30pm (check in 1pm) and returns at approximately 5.30 - 6pm
  • Not available on Christmas Day
  • The arrival time back into Picton is an estimate only which varies each day and is dependent upon a number of factors including the route, how much mail there is to deliver and how many pick ups/drop offs there are along the way. During the warmer months the cruise generally arrive back at the later estimated time (6pm), in winter it tends to be earlier (5:30pm).

Numbers on the Day

This cruise runs with a maximum of 90 people.


In the event of rain or inclement weather your experience will still go ahead unless contacted by the experience provider. If your experience is cancelled you will be rescheduled by the provider.

... and Importantly


Once this experience has been confirmed, changes are at the discretion of the experience provider and arranged directly with them according to this policy:


  • Over 48 hours prior to the experience date: 10% of booking cost
  • Within 48 hours of the experience, No Shows and Late Arrivals: Participants forfeit their experience and therefore are not entitled to a refund or to re-book
  • Participants are advised to make their own insurance provisions in case of unforeseen circumstances
  • Change of participant is not permitted