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A series of valleys now flooded by seawater, this sparsely populated region feels like paradise on earth. Experienced sailors navigate the waters, while isolated villages and single houses nestle in the lush landscape. The welcome is warm and the seafood is delicious.

A Maori heartland, a stopping-off point for Captain Cook, and a fascinating region of islands and rivers. 

Things to do


The Marlborough Sounds make up a fifth of New Zealand’s coastline, and water is everywhere you look. Take a cruise along the coast, or hire a kayak if you want to explore under your own steam. And if you’re a good swimmer, why not take a dip with the dolphins?


Home to salmon and mussel farming, you’ll be able to sample some seafood delicacies while you’re in Marlborough Sounds. You can even choose to go on a mussel cruise if you want to truly experience the taste of the sea.


Many of the bays and sparsely populated villages of the Sounds are only accessible by boat. If you want to escape and immerse yourself in this vast and empty landscape, a trek on the Queen Charlotte trail is a must.


The eerie shipwreck of the cruise liner Mikhail Lermontov sits in the mouth of Queen Charlotte Sound and is very popular with divers. 

Top Tip from SLH




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