of Marlborough Sounds
One Day or Overnight Charters in Queen Charlotte Sounds
Options for charters:
Tena koutou katoa (greetings to all)
Our charters are for people who wish to have the exclusive use of our vessel “Tutanekai” for either a one day, one and a half , or two day cruises.
This is by far the best way to enjoy our beautiful Marlborough Sounds, wildlife encounters with dolphins penguins, seals, bird life and scenic beauty together with Pete & Takutai’s Myths and Legends will create a wonderful atmosphere with unforgettable memories.
One day exclusive charter
If you are a keen bird watcher let Takutai guide you on bushwalks on our Island bird sanctuaries, you may wish to visit the remote Kingshag colony home to one of the worlds rarest birds found only here in the Marlborough Sounds. ( $50 extra to steam out to colony because it is right out on the edge of Cook Strait.)
Experienced birdwatchers are amazed at her uncanny ability to identify birds by their song, she sees birds in the bush that most people can’t see and she instinctively knows the hierarchy where you have to wait patiently for the more aggressive birds to leave before the others will appear.
Takutai is " feral " she stalks the birds as silently as a cat, you will see far more birds with her than on a freedom walk or a rushed trip with other 1/2 day tours.
Have a picnic lunch a swim and go on the waterfall bush walk, while exploring the incredibly beautiful ” Ship Cove “ rated by the Lonely Planet to be one of the top 6 must see tourism sites in the entire world. Captain Cook regarded it as his most favourite anchorage, there are few places in the world to compare with its beauty and serenity.
You can visit a sunken ship wreck, feed the Blue Cod at a voluntary reserve, then check out the Arapawa Wildlife Sanctuary home to 3 endangered species.
The black feral sheep, thought to have been liberated by early Portuguese explorers, goats & pigs liberated by Captain Cook . Betty Rowe who owns this sanctuary is the greatest attraction, 75yrs of age and lives in this remote isolated island on her own, she so enjoys getting visitors and sharing her fascinating life story.
Betty is an expatriate American who left her country because she become dissatisfied with her culture, she said that she would not let her sons be conscripted to fight in an unjust war, ( Vietnam, ) and moved her family to NZ, and bought a farm on this remote island.
Betty's fought an amazing battle against all odds to save the old English Milch Goat from extinction, ( they were the only ones left in the world, dropped on this isolated island in the outer Sounds by Captain Cook.) the authorities wanted to exterminate them. She organised the first protest ever held in the Sounds and backed down the shooters, she subdivided their farm, created a wildlife trust and created the Arapawa Wildlife Sanctuary.
She's 77yrs old now & still fighting to protect our wildlife, she's a Sounds icon and has been a great mentor for us and done alot to help change entrenched mind sets.
Travel our tranquil water ways with us on the quiet and dignified 77 yr old kauri planked, two masted, classic launch “Tutanekai“. He has an intriguing history of his own.
One Day Exclusive Charter
Price NZ$1250 up to 2 people, plus NZ$100 for each additional
The overnight trips have been added for those of you who would
like an overnight stay with interesting people in out of the way
places, the 1½ day option is for those who have time constraints due to travel arrangements on
the following day.
Although we can sleep aboard we prefer to have overnight accommodation ashore. We can use a number of resorts or home stays with 3 to 5 star ratings. Our favourite is the Ruapara Turangawaewae Homestead in Oneuku Bay on Arapawa Island where wonderful hosts Neville and Gay provide wonderful Maori manakitanga ( hospitality. ) Ruapara means two Swamps and is named after the swamps where in the past the old people would pull up their waka (canoes) utilising the swamp as a natural slipway.
Turangawaewae which is the word used to describe the spiritual connection that Maori have with their ancestral land. Over time battles have been fought, people have spilt their blood sweat and tears over the land.
Neville's whanau bury their whenua ( afterbirth ) and plant trees over them, they have their own family urupa ( cemetery ) There are hundreds and hundreds of people descended from those tipuna ( Ancestors ), it doesn't matter where they live in NZ or around the world, they all have a spiritual connection with their turangawaewae.
Neville's great, great grandfather conquered this land, his great grandfather and his two brothers cut slashed and burnt the native bush to clear the land for pastural farming.
Between them they raised 50 children, so many that they built their own school, Neville's grandmother, Tinipere begat 20 children !
The photos of these old people adorn the walls, the homestead has a wonderful warm inviting atmosphere with a character you won't find anywhere else in NZ.
Arapawa Island is very remote and miles from the usual tourist routes enjoy a relaxing stay. We can offer a full days ecotour the following day OR can have you back by 12.00 o’clock so that you have the afternoon free to travel on to your next destination.
Check out The Ruapara Turangawaewae homestead on www.topofthesouthexperience.co.nz
2 Day Charter
Price NZ$2200 up to 2 people, plus NZ$100 for each additional person.
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1½ Day Charter
Price NZ$1800 up to 2 people, plus NZ$100 for each additional person.
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“Have some nice pics of last June when you took me out for
such a wonderful trip in the Sound. Still “wow” memories
that I really keep enjoying.”
All the best Carol, (USA)