Queen Charlotte Sound Explorer

From $4,500 per person

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Monday 28 March – Saturday 02 April 2022 (6 Days)

Flying in and out of Blenheim this tour takes in some of the best that this region has to offer including of course wine, seafood and spectacular scenery!  Cruising out to Furneaux Lodge for three nights we explore Queen Charlotte Sound including Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary, Arapawa Seafarms where the unique Blue Pearl are grown, and enjoy tasting delicious local mussels and paua!

Day 1          Monday 28 March 2022
Our tour commences today with a flight from Auckland to Blenheim. Welcome to the Marlborough region! Marlborough is best known for its wine and the unique Marlborough Sounds and over the next few days we explore both by land and water.  We are met on arrival at Blenheim Airport before travelling the short distance to Picton. Here we have our first views of Queen Charlotte Sound as Picton is situated at the head of the sound. Time this afternoon to take a walk around Picton before enjoying dinner at our hotel.
Accommodation: Picton Yacht Club, Picton – 1 night

Day 2          Tuesday 29 March 2022
Following breakfast we head out for the day to enjoy the very best of what Marlborough has to offer us including the chance to indulge in Marlborough wine and the Marlborough Sounds including fresh local seafood!  We visit a few of Marlborough’s established wineries.  At the wineries hear about their history and taste a stunning range of reserve-grade wines and meet people who know wine and love sharing their passion with you. Enjoy a delicious Marlborough Sounds waterfront lunch, then board a modern catamaran launch for a relaxing seafood cruise. Cruise the calm waters of the stunning Marlborough Sounds, enjoy the views accompanied by fresh local seafood and of course Marlborough sauvignon blanc!  We return to Picton to board our water taxi out to our accommodation in the Queen Charlotte Sound for the next three nights at Furneaux Lodge. Located at the head of Endeavour Inlet in the stunning Marlborough Sounds, Furneaux Lodge has a backdrop of native forest and lush rolling lawns right to the stunning blue-green water.  Dinner tonight at Furneaux Lodge.
Accommodation: Furneaux Lodge, Endeavour Inlet – 3 nights

Day 3          Wednesday 30 March 2022
Motuara Island bird sanctuary is a predator-free safe haven for many rare species including the South Island Saddleback and Bush Robin. Small Blue Penguins nest in boxes alongside the track that gradually climbs to a lookout above the forest canopy. We have a relaxed start to the day with breakfast at Furneaux Lodge before being collected by boat to visit Motuara Island.  On arrival enjoy a self-guided walk following the track around the island enjoying several lookout points along the way before reaching the highest point of the island for fantastic views across to Ship Cove.  For those that do not want to do the walk today you can sit and enjoy the bird viewing station within a 5 minute walk from jetty. We are on the island for approximately. 1 hour before departing the island and cruising over to Ship Cove. Historic Ship Cove was named by Captain James Cook in 1770 when his ship The Endeavour anchored here to replenish supplies of food, water and wood. It became a favourite anchorage of Captain Cook and he returned here a further four times between 1770 and 1777. There is a waterfall walk 20 mins one way for those keen to do some more exploring.  From Ship Cove we cruise around to Bay of Many Coves - a luxury five-star resort, set in the heart of Queen Charlotte Sound, Marlborough. Here you will enjoy a wonderful lunch all the while enjoying the breath-taking scenery before heading back to Furneaux Lodge.  We dine tonight at Furneaux Lodge.

Day 4          Thursday 31 March 2022                        
FURNEAUX LODGE          (BD)               
Today we have set aside as a free and relaxing day in beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound.  You may like to take the short 10 minute walk to visit the 1000-year-old rimu tree near Furneaux Lodge, take a longer walk on part of the Queen Charlotte Track or catch the scheduled morning Cougar Line boat to their sister lodge Punga Cove across the inlet and have lunch at the Boatshed Café & Bar.  The Lodge also has kayaks available if you feel like a paddle out on the water, or you can simply relax and enjoy the views, native forest and birdlife from your sundeck or from the plentiful hammocks on the waterfront. Any activities at additional cost.  Dinner tonight at Furneaux Lodge.

Day 5          Friday 01 April 2022                                            
Following breakfast at Furneaux Lodge we bid farewell to our hosts when we are collected to visit Arapawa Seafarms, where the unique Blue Pearl or Paua Pearls are grown. On arrival you will be greeted by Mike and Antonia Radon, the owners of Arapawa Seafarms, where the unique Blue Pearl or Paua Pearls are grown. They will personally guide you on a tour of the farm, which is not only a place of work but also their home. Discover how the Blue Pearl came to be and see how they are produced. Depending on the time of year, it’s possible to see paua of all sizes, from dust-specs in a larval rearing tank to full size paua with pearl inserts.  Once you have finished your tour venture up to the Radon homestead, where you will be served a light lunch including sampling local mussels and of course paua before heading back to Picton.  On our arrival back in Picton marina we walk back to our accommodation for our last night in the Marlborough region. Dinner tonight at our hotel.
Accommodation: Picton Yacht Club, Picton – 1 night

Day 6          Saturday 02 April 2022                                                               
Farewell from the South Island. After breakfast we are transferred from the hotel to Blenheim Airport to connect to our flight back to Auckland.

Picton Yacht Club Hotel

Set beside Picton Harbour, this stylish and modern hotel provides a great base to explore the dramatic local coastline and New Zealand's wine country. The property is non-smoking throughout and features an award-winning restaurant, a bar and a swimming pool.

Furneaux Lodge

Looking out over the calm, clear waters of Endeavour Inlet, the Lodge is surrounded by 2000 acres of native virgin forest which has been unchanged since Captain Cook's first visit to the inlet in 1769. All guest rooms at the resort are equipped with a seating area. All rooms come with a private bathroom equipped with a bath or shower, while some rooms have a kitchen. Guest rooms will provide guests with an oven.

Tour Inclusions

  • Door to door home collection & drop off service available from select areas - refer to further information available here
  • 5 nights accommodation - twin/double rooms, all with private facilities (single rooms available with surcharge)
  • Auckland - Blenheim return flights with Air New Zealand - other ports on application, price on application
  • Touring in modern air conditioned vehicle
  • 5 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 5 dinners included
  • Marlborough Icons guided tour including winery visits and lunch and seafood cruise
  • Self Guided walk on Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary
  • Lunch at Bay of Many Coves Resort
  • Option to walk along the Queen Charlotte Track
  • Guided tour of Arapawa Seafarms

Tour Payments Per Person ($NZD)

Club Member Share Twin Cost:$4,470.00
Non Member Share Twin Cost:$4,500.00
Single Supplement:$800.00
Non-refundable deposit due at time of booking$200.00

Full balance of tour payment due by Monday 14 February 2022

Book and pay in full by Monday 29 November 2021 and receive $125.00 discount per person!


Are door to door collections included on this tour? YES

Yes. Leisure Time Travel offers a free home collection and drop off service from selected Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua and most Auckland City areas. Our complimentary collections are based on your individual post code, other home collection locations available at an additional cost. Alternatively you may wish to meet us at our Hamilton depot in which case you can park your car in our secure yard free of charge for the duration of your holiday. For all tours that have a flight component, we can also offer door to door collections from Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin city areas.

Please refer to our Home Collection flyer for further information about this service.

Is the Guaranteed twin Share Price available on this tour? NO

Unfortunately, our guaranteed twin share pricing is not available on this tour. If we do not have a suitable match for you, you will be required to pay the single supplement.

What fitness level is required for this tour? EASY

To help you select the right tour for you, we’ve developed a set of fitness recommendations for our tours. These physical ratings explain how much physical exertion is required to participate on each tour.

Level 1 – Easy

  • Relaxed paced tour
  • Be able to participate in small walks at a relaxed pace for 10-15 minutes
  • Walk on mostly level ground
  • Tackle an occasional flight of stairs
  • Occasionally need to stand for up to 15 minutes
  • Able to get on and off transportation unaided

Level 2 – Moderate

  • Be able to participate in walks with time to rest at least every 20-30 minutes
  • Stand for 30 minutes without needing to sit down
  • Tackle a flight of stairs or incline
  • Walk confidently on uneven and undulating surfaces
  • Able to get on and off transportation unaided

 Level 3 – Active

  • Participate in walks for 45-60 minutes at a time without having to rest
  • Walk up an incline equal to a flight of stairs without stopping
  • Stand for 60 minutes without needing to sit down
  • Walk confidently over uneven ground or undulating surfaces
  • Able to get on and off transportation unaided
Will there be a daily seat rotation on this tour? YES

Passengers rotate seats in the coach daily so that all passengers have the opportunity to enjoy forward and window seating. All passengers are expected to participate as a booking condition.

Can you assist with pre & post tour accommodation? YES

Yes we can. Should you wish to arrive earlier or stay longer we can book in some pre and post tour accommodation for you. Please ask at the time of booking if you require this.

Is this tour a guaranteed departure? NO

This tour will be guaranteed once there are 10 passengers booked on the tour.

Are roadside morning teas included on our tours? NO

Unfortunately our roadside morning teas are not included on this tour as we will not be utilising our coaches.

Do I need travel insurance?

Leisure Time Tours strongly advises all passengers to purchase a travel insurance policy. A comprehensive travel insurance policy may prevent you from spending extra money in case of an emergency and will help you feel protected during your holiday. We are agents for Cover More Travel Insurance. Ask us for a no obligation insurance quote today.

How much luggage can I bring?

Luggage is restricted to one suitcase and one small item of hand luggage per person. Baggage handling of one suitcase per person, at each hotel, is included in the trip price. Carry-on/hand luggage handling is the responsibility of each guest and all personal items must be taken off the coach by you each day of the trip.

What clothing should I pack?

When on tour, dress is generally relaxed and casual with an informal dress standard on most occasions. Casual wear is recommended for travelling with something a little more formal for evening dining. If taking part in outdoor activities, make sure you have a waterproof coat, comfortable footwear and dress in layers to help you adjust to any sudden changes in climate. Be prepared for New Zealand’s powerful sun, even on cold windy days, bringing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.

Terms & Conditions….
Valid from 14 September 2021

Acceptance of Terms and Conditions
If you book a Packaged Tour with us and pay your deposit, you are deemed to have accepted these terms.  If you booked your Packaged Tour with us through an agent, the agent is deemed to have accepted these terms on your behalf.  We may ask you to sign a copy of these terms when you join your Packaged Tour to provide a record of your acceptance of these terms and you agree to sign these terms on our request.

The itinerary for your Packaged Tour was correct at the time of printing, but it is subject to change without notice.  Your itinerary could change due to road or weather conditions, changes imposed by other tour operators or a range of other factors outside our control.  You agree that we have no liability to you for changes to your itinerary.

Price Amendments
Prices were correct at the time and date of printing, however Leisure Time Travel reserves the right to amend the price subject to any changes in price imposed by other tour operators and carriers included in the itinerary or major fluctuation in the exchange rates, or increases in government or other levies. The final tour cost will be guaranteed not to change once the full and final payment has been received. Tour Price excludes drinks, telephone calls, travel insurance and items of a personal nature. Leisure Time Travel also reserves the right to cancel the tour due to low numbers and in this instance a full refund will be provided.

Health and Fitness
Passengers should be in good health and able to walk moderate distances to fully participate and experience the sightseeing opportunities within the enclosed itinerary.  All passengers are required to acknowledge that they are of reasonable health and are considered to be fit to travel and are not travelling contrary to any medical advice.  By acknowledging their health and fitness to participate passengers are indemnifying us from all actions, claims and demands arising out of any lack of health and fitness.  We reserve the right to remove a passenger from a tour if their health or fitness interferes with any other passenger’s experiences or the day to day running of the tour.  In this instance our normal cancellation terms and conditions will apply.  You agree that we have no liability to you for any loss, damage, costs or other effects of health problems you may encounter on your Packaged Tour.

Health and Safety Information Including COVID-19
For the health and safety of all passengers on tour any illness (such as fever, coughing or difficulty breathing) will not be accepted onboard the coach unless they can provide us with a negative Covid19 test result received within the past 72 hours.  Should any passenger start to feel unwell on arrival or while on tour, they must immediately advise their tour manager and contact Healthline then visit a medical practitioner/medical centre/hospital.  To return to the tour the passenger must be deemed fit and well to participate fully on a coach tour, obtaining and providing us with a written medical clearance – not just a negative Covid19 test.  Any costs incurred will be at the passenger’s own expense.

COVID-19 Vaccination
Our passengers’ safety, and that of our staff and suppliers, has always been our top priority. As of 1 December 2021, Leisure Time Travel requires all passengers joining our tours to produce proof of full COVID-19 vaccination. If a passenger is unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, they may apply for an exemption to us by providing a medical certificate to us. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Proof of vaccination against COVID-19. This is your official vaccination certificate (electronic or paper) and it must identify your name and date of vaccination with the final dose given at least 14-days before the start date of your tour.

Payments, Cancellations and Refunds
A non-refundable deposit per person is required at time of booking to confirm your seat. All balance payments must be received by Leisure Time Travel prior to the date specified as per itinerary or your booking confirmation. Payments are available to be made by Cash, Cheque, Direct Credit or EFTPOS only –  Credit Card payments are not available without an additional surcharge.  Leisure Time Travel reserves the right to amend or reschedule the tour due the result of circumstances outside the company’s control. Leisure Time Travel also reserves the right to cancel the tour due to insufficient numbers and in this  instance a substitute date will be offered or a full refund will be made available. Tour Price excludes drinks, telephone calls, travel insurance and items of a personal nature.

Travel Insurance
Leisure Time Travel strongly advises all passengers to purchase a travel insurance policy when booking a tour. A comprehensive travel insurance policy gives peace of mind for unexpected issues or emergencies that may arise prior to or during a tour. We are agents for Cover More Travel Insurance. Cover More now provide insurance cover for a number of COVID-19 related medical, cancellation and amendments costs, giving you confidence to book your trip.  Ask us for a no obligation insurance quote today or further information about travel insurance for your upcoming tour.

New Zealand Cancellation Policy
If you cancel your booking:

  • 42+ days prior to tour commencement, loss of non-refundable deposit
  • 30-41 days prior to tour commencement your cancellation charge will be 50% of the holiday price (50% refund) plus any applicable supplier cancellation fees
  • 30 days prior to tour commencement your cancellation charge will be 100% of the holiday price (no refund)

No refunds on any unused portions of any itinerary.  The exception is if a sightseeing service is cancelled by operator due to weather conditions/safety concerns etc and the operator authorises a refund.  Any such refunds will be processed through agent.
Please note that any applicable airline content does not apply to the above refunds – see your airline for their specific cancellation/refund policies.

COVID-19 Cancellation and Refund Policy
COVID-19 has created uncertainty for us all, therefore for cancellations directly related to COVID-19, we have negotiated special terms with our suppliers which would override ‘normal cancellation’ terms as outlined above;

If the New Zealand Government imposes travel restrictions that would impact our ability to deliver your travel package prior to commencing travel, passengers will receive a full credit, less any applicable airline cancellation fees.  If travel restrictions are imposed while on tour, we will seek credits on any unused portions of the itinerary from all suppliers.  Any applicable credits will first be applied to any additional costs that our company may have incurred on the passenger’s behalf e.g. if alternative accommodation or transportation to repatriate the passenger to their home city or nearest airport etc is required.  Any remaining refunds will be credited to the booking agent to enable them to pass onto their passenger.

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