Myths and Legends Ecotours Marlborough Sounds New Zealand
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New Zealand Ecotours
About Myths & Legends
Pete, Takutai & Whanau (family)
Pete's family have lived in the Marlborough Sounds for six generations. His ancestors were Marlborough Sounds farmers and boat builders. They even have a bay named after them: "Beeches Bay".

Pete, Takutai & Whanau (family)

Takutai is Maori, from the Ngaiterangi Iwi, her name means, "One who has an affinity with the sea". They have four children and one Mokopuna (grandson). All of their children: three sons and a daughter, have lovely natures and are extremely competent boat handlers.

Pete, Takutai and Tane of Myths and legends Ecotours NZ

As a result of their long family association with the Marlborough Sounds they have developed a strong sense of responsibility for the area. Following the devastation caused by the introduction of fast ferries, Pete founded a very successful environmental watchdog group called the "Guardians of the Sounds".

He is well qualified and happy to discuss environmental issues. Pete & Takutai have an amazing knowledge of the Marlborough Sounds and speak with a passion that is infectious.

As Pete says, "Our families have lived the history. When we speak of it, we speak from the heart; our business is an extension of our ethos. Ours is a personalised cruise where tourists can interact with Maori people and feel free to ask questions about our life style, our heritage, culture and environment."

Tutanekai is a beautiful old two-masted classic launch, full of warmth & character and is named after one of the most famous love stories in Maori folklore (ask Pete to tell you the story.)It has large walk-around decks for looking at the wild life, a big boarding platform for swimming and diving, a dingy for rowing, and cabin tops ideal for sunbathing on big soft pillows. Relax on soft lounge chairs and if it's cold we wrap you up in duvets.

He (not she) is over 70 yrs old and was built by E.R. Lane in Picton in 1930 out of full-length Kauri plank, 42 ft long, 10 ft beam, 3 ft 6 inches draft. Powered by a 471 GM diesel engine rated at 115 hp at 1800rpm. Cruising speed is at a comfortable 9 knots.

Built for use as a passenger vessel over summer and as a mother ship towing harpooned whales back into the Whaling Station during the winter season.

He has spent 30 years as a mail boat, then a fishing boat, then 20 years in the mussel industry pushing barges, where it was run down into a near derelict state.

The old owner gifted the 'Tutanekai' to Pete who has restored him to his former glory.

anonymous poem sent to Takutai


The beautiful TutanekaiIn the Marlborough Sounds where the sun smiles down,
And the trees roll into the sea,
plies a handsome ship at a stately clip,
Tutanekai roving free.

Spent a lifetime at the hand of the working man,
and proved steady to every load,
Till in ripe old age a question was made,
Where now would Tutanekai go ?

Now the man who rode him loved him,
and knew of one other who could,
so as a labour of love he gave as a gift,
this fine little Kauri ship

The task was gladly taken,
with pride in such fine lines,
to rebuild what years had shaken,
and undo the wears of time.

Kind friend step lightly on here,
and thank Pete that Tutanekai is free,
in the Marlborough Sounds where the sun smiles down,
and the trees roll down to the sea.

Takutai and Pete Beech of Myths and Legends Ecotours New Zealand

“The Beeches are absolutely awesome people!!! We learned so much from them – they truly are wonderful people!!! The Sound experience has been a highlight!!!”

Sincerely Debbie (USA)

Takutai, Pete and Hepe





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