Marlborough Sounds, Family Activities

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  • Bike Hire Marlborough

    Bike Hire in the heart of the Marlborough wine region. Flat, easy biking and beautiful scenery mean cycling the vineyards is the only way to tour the wineries and makes for a great family day out. Within 3km of our home base at the Vines Village there are over a dozen wineries and river trails, giving you the best location in Marlborough to start riding from.
    Our base at the Vines Village has safe off-road parking and an on-site cafe to pick up a picnic lunch or drink for your day.
    We offer free pick-up and drop-off from your Blenheim and Renwick accommodation so you don't need to bike the 15km from town to get to the heart of the wine region.  Please note your children's ages when booking, so we can prepare their bikes.

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  • Kiwi Guardian Outdoor Adventures

    Get the kids outside to have some FREE family fun connecting with nature at Toyota Kiwi Guardians sites nationwide.

    Toyota Kiwi Guardians highlights family-friendly, treasure hunt style activities at specific Department of Conservation sites that encourage kids to engage with the outdoors and, ultimately, earn themselves a medal for their efforts.

    The goal of the conservation programme is to turn Kiwi kids into guardians of the land and sea.

    A total of 50 sites are operational nationwide. Families can get started on their adventure by downloading the appropriate “treasure hunt” map from: www.kiwiguardians.co.nz

    Click on the area of New Zealand nearest to where you are to find the choices available closest to home.

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  • Pelorus Mail Boat

    You have the opportunity to join the world famous Pelorus Mail Run in the Marlborough Sounds. You'll visit isolated homesteads nestled in quiet secluded bays, delivering crucial supplies and mail the same way it has been done for decades. View mussel farms and see why Pelorus Sound is the mussel capital of the world. Old timers row out in dinghies to meet us, while some receive their supplies on tiny, unspoilt beaches. The people of the Marlborough Sounds are as much a part of the area as the history and majestic beauty.
    Kids under 14 years go FREE!

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  • Ages 12+

    Wilderness Guides - Queen Charlotte Combo Trip

    This unique day trip is absolutely the best way to experience the Marlborough Sounds and Queen Charlotte Track all in one day. You need no experience and the trip is suitable for children 12 years and over. Start your day with our thorough safety briefing, before your guided sea kayak tour, hugging the shoreline and checking out the local wildlife and native bush. Arriving in Anakiwa you can don your walking boots and take to the Queen Charlotte Track - along one of its easiest, yet most scenic sections. Finish your day with a water taxi pick up - a thrilling boat ride with fantastic views back towards where you've been. Note: lunch/nibbles provided.

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  • Beachcomber Fun Cruises

    Cruising on Queen Charlotte Sounds is a must-do - the scenery is simply stunning and there's no other way to reach many of the homes dotted around the bays and coves than by boat. Beachcomber Fun Cruises offer a range of excursions around the Queen Charlotte Sounds, including shore stops, fish feeding and dolphin and other wildlife viewing. The boats are spacious and the crew friendly, they will ensure your family has fun on the Sounds! The Magic Mail Run - share the excitement of mail day and say 'hi' to the locals with the only licensed NZ Post Rural delivery service by water in the Queen Charlotte Sounds. Qualmark endorsed.

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  • Cougar Line Cruises

    Cougar Line Cruises operate vessels with in and outdoor viewing and have snacks, refreshments and toilets onboard. Take our one hour Hidden Bay cruise - a fantastic taster for those short of time, or relax, picnic and play at the historic Ship Cove. Exploring the Queen Charlotte Track couldn't be easier - we'll drop you off practically anywhere along the way, then pick you up further along, so you can get a taster of this renowned 71km track.

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  • Edwin Fox Ship and Visitor Centre - Picton

    A child-friendly and all-weather activity. Here at the Edwin Fox and Visitor Centre you will discover the fascinating history of the Edwin Fox (the worlds 9th oldest ship). A permanent display in Picton, where you can learn all about her fascinating round the world adventures and her checkered history from troop carrier to immigrant ship, even convict transporter. Open everyday except Christmas.

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  • Ages 4+

    Pelorus Eco Adventures

    Paddle down New Zealands most beautiful river.
    Join our experienced, friendly guides on an eye-opening, fun adventure paddling on the Pelorus river.
    Includes short native bush walk informing about native plants, including the silver fern.
    Explore the famous filming locations used in the second “Hobbit” movie “The Desolation of Smaug”
    Definetly the most beautiful river you ever paddled.

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  • Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre - Blenheim

    Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre will entertain both the kids and adults alike. With great exhibitions on show, there is also a café serving light refreshments and a museum shop that retails a range of limited edition souvenirs. Family specials available.

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  • Lochmara Lodge Wildlife Recovery & Arts Centre, Family Day Out - Marlborough Sounds

    Discover a unique corner of the Marlborough Sounds with one of our Marlborough Sounds cruises, Queen Charlotte Track walks, and day tours.  The 'Family Day Out' day trip offers family-oriented activities after you arrive from your boat cruise to Lochmara.  Enjoy the flying fox, kayaks, swimming beach, feed the pigs, chickens and alpacas, hand feed kakariki, see wetas and bees.  Departure times throughout the day.  Family deal is for 2 adults and up to 3 children.  Children under 5 free.

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  • Ages 10+

    Wilderness Guides - Half day kayak trip

    A fantastic experience the whole family will love! The Marlborough Sounds offers some of the most idyllic and scenic kayaking in New Zealand, with calm inlets, lots of wildlife and absolutely stunning scenery.
    Our half day trip sets off from a small bay away from the boats and bustle of Picton harbour. We then hug the shoreline as we make our way past hidden beaches and tucked away coves, on the lookout for seals, little blue penguins, stingrays, dolphins and native birdlife. The pace is easy and no experience is necessary. Our friendly guides will ensure you and the kids are comfortable and safe.

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  • EcoWorld Picton Aquarium

    Meet the Locals at EcoWorld Picton Aquarium. Touch a Living Fossil (Tuatara). Get close to a Penguin. Have fun discovering amazing animals that live on Middle-earth, New Zealand, “the youngest land in the world”.  Nature - Wildlife - Heritage - Explore & Learn - Family – friendly - Affordable - FUN. At EcoWorld we give you outstanding, intimate experiences. Our knowledgeable staff help you discover and have fun, sharing with you some of New Zealand's amazing native animals that live in our beautiful Marlborough Sounds.

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    • Location: 1 Dunbar Wharf, Picton Foreshore, Picton
Map of New Zealand
  • Central Otago
  • Bay of Plenty
  • Coromandel
  • Dunedin
  • Gisborne
  • Fiordland
  • Hawkes Bay
  • North Canterbury
  • Manawatu
  • Nelson & Golden Bay
  • Northland
  • Marlborough Sounds
  • Rotorua
  • Queenstown
  • Taranaki
  • South Canterbury
  • Taupo
  • Southland
  • Waikato
  • Wanaka
  • West Coast
  • Whangarei
  • Bay of Islands
  • Tauranga
  • Gisborne
  • Hamilton
  • Napier
  • Kapiti
  • Palmerston North
  • Whanganui
  • New Plymouth
  • Arrowtown
  • Te Anau
  • Akaroa
  • Ashburton
  • Hanmer
  • Kaikoura
  • Methven
  • Mt Cook
  • Oamaru
  • Tekapo
  • Timaru
  • Abel Tasman
  • Motueka
  • Nelson Lakes
  • Blenheim
  • Picton
  • Catlins
  • Gore
  • Stewart Island
  • Central Plateau
  • Invercargill
  • Cromwell
  • Greymouth
  • Hokitika
  • Westport
  • Glenorchy

Our favourite destinations…

Auckland destination2

Auckland

New Zealand’s economic heart and biggest city is also an exciting family visitor destination, situated on a sunny harbour with city beaches just minutes away from the CBD. Orientate yourself by heading down to Viaduct Harbour, wandering the waterfront, checking out the super yachts or enjoying the waterfront restaurants. Nearby is the must-visit Sky Tower along with excellent and kid-friendly museums and tons of exciting activities!

Wellington

Wellington is New Zealand’s capital. Here you will find New Zealand's parliament buildings, including the 'Executive Wing', more well-known as 'The Beehive' due to its distinctive shape. Another icon to look out for is the Wellington Tram, which was the main means of public transport between 1878 and 1964.

Christchurch

With a population of around 400,000 Christchurch, in Canterbury, is the South Island ’s largest city, yet much of it has the feel of a small town. Perhaps that’s why it’s known as the Garden City but with the expansive Hagley Park, Botanic Gardens, Port Hills, River Avon and numerous beaches the city certainly has an open, relaxed feel that’s hard to beat.

Queenstown

With its well-deserved reputation as New Zealand’s activity adventure capital you’ll never run out of activities and things to do in Queenstown, but you may run out of time! With breathtaking scenery, activities and festivals, cafes and restaurants, skiing and snowboarding, shopping and wineries, this lakeside alpine resort rates as one of the world’s top vacation destinations for all ages and seasons.

Rotorua

Rotorua sits on the shore of Lake Rotorua, one of sixteen lakes in the area formed by hundreds of thousands of years of eruptions from the Taupo Volcanic Zone. The area is renowned for its geothermal activity and top of any activity list is to see the bubbling mud pools that are around the region for yourself. The Waimangu Volcanic Valley offers a first hand insight into the devastation caused by the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera and is a great place to discover steaming volcanic craters and bubbling, spitting  pools of mud!

Nelson and Golden Bay

The Nelson and Golden Bay regions, at the top of the South Island, boast enviable sunshine hours, glorious sandy beaches, safe swimming spots, lots of wildlife to look out for, and Abel Tasman National Park - an absolute must to explore, on foot, by kayak, your own craft or watertaxi.  Nelson is home to a vibrant arts and crafts community with a fabulous Saturday market, and is close to award-winning wineries and family-friendly bike tracks to take you around the coast.

Hawkes Bay

Napier was rebuilt after the 1931 earthquake and is now known as NZ's Art Deco City.  The Art Deco influence has created a unique city – nowhere else can you see such a varied concentration of art deco style. With over 2,200 sunshine hours a year, Napier is a year-round holiday destination with countless activities to entertain the kids – there's days of entertainment on Marine Parade alone, plus numerous other family-friendly trips and activities.  Add to that the beaches, walks and flat cycle paths, outdoor cafes and entertainment, and you have a perfect holiday destination!

Northland

Beautiful, unspoiled beaches, fishing, historic gum fields, kauri forests – the Far North has it all. With subtropical temperatures, it's often known as ‘the Winterless north', with warm, humid summers and mild winters.
Gateway to the Bay of Islands, Paihia is a pretty, lively beachside town and a perfect base for your family holiday. It’s your start point for Bay of Island adventures including day cruises, sailing, kayaking, swimming with dolphins and reef or wreck diving.