Queen Charlotte Sound Explorer

Easy Twin Share

From $4,720 per person

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Wednesday 30 November – Monday 05 December 2022 (6 Days)

Experience the best that Marlborough has to offer from wine and seafood to the spectacular scenery! A great opportunity to explore the region, including Queen Charlotte Sound, Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary and Arapawa Seafarms.

Day 1             Wednesday 30 November 2022
We begin the tour with a flight from Auckland to Blenheim. Welcome to the Marlborough region! Over the next few days we are going to experience the best of Marlborough, on land we try outstanding wines and on the water we explore the unique Marlborough Sounds. On arrival in Blenheim, we make our way to Picton a short distance away. Situated at the head of Queen Charlotte Sound, we are able to take our first look at this amazing natural beauty. Enjoy a walk around Picton this afternoon to stretch your legs before we enjoy dinner at the hotel.
Accommodation: Picton Yacht Club, Picton – 1 night

Day 2             Thursday 01 December 2022
After breakfast this morning, we head out for a day to indulge in local wines and food, including some amazing fresh local seafood. Visiting wineries, we hear their histories and sample the glorious range of reserve wines on offer. Right on the waterfront we enjoy a delicious lunch before taking our first boat trip. Cruising on the calm waters of the Sounds, we have the ultimate experience while we enjoy local seafood, a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and the stunning nature around us. Returning to Picton, we board the water taxi to be transported to our accommodation located within the Queen Charlotte Sound; Furneaux Lodge. The Endeavour Inlet hides away this outstanding accommodation surrounded by nature forest and rolling lawns. We enjoy dinner at Furneaux Lodge.
Accommodation: Furneaux Lodge, Endeavour Inlet – 3 nights

Day 3             Friday 02 December 2022
After a relaxing breakfast at the lodge this morning, we are back on the water to visit Motuara Island. As a predator free island, this bird sanctuary is a great safe haven for many rare species, like the South Island Saddleback and Bush Robin, while Small Blue Penguins nest along the track leading up to the lookout above the canopy. Enjoy a self-guided walk following the track around the island with 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 just a short walk from the jetty. We are on the island for approximately 1-hour before 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, who returned multiple times between 1770 and 1777. For those keen to keep exploring, take a quick 20-minute walk to a nearby waterfall. Leaving behind Ship Cove, we cruise around to the 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             Saturday 03 December 2022                 
FURNEAUX LODGE          (BD)               
Today is at leisure to relax in 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 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             Sunday 04 December 2022                                            
Following breakfast at Furneaux Lodge we bid farewell to our hosts when we are collected to visit Arapawa Seafarms. On arrival we are greeted by the owners of Arapawa Seafarms, where the unique Blue Pearl and Paua Pearls are grown. They personally guide us 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. At the end of our pearl tour, we venture up to the Radon homestead, where we are served a light lunch including sampling local mussels and paua before heading back to Picton. On our arrival back in Picton marina we walk back to our accommodation for our last night in Marlborough. Dinner tonight is at our hotel.
Accommodation: Picton Yacht Club, Picton – 1 night

Day 6             Monday 05 December 2022                                                      
Farewell from the South Island. After breakfast we are transferred to Blenheim Airport to connect to our flight back to Auckland.

Picton Yacht Club

Picton Yacht Club

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

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 flyer for further information
  • Auckland – Blenheim return flights with Air New Zealand - other ports on application / price on application
  • 5 nights accommodation - twin/double rooms, all with private facilities (single rooms available with surcharge)
  • Tour admissions as per itinerary
  • Touring in modern air-conditioned vehicle
  • Breakfasts (B), Lunches (L), Dinners (D) where indicated on your daily itinerary – 5x breakfasts, 3x lunches, 5x dinners
  • Roadside Morning Teas – where possible
  • Marlborough Wine Tour
  • Marlborough Seafood Cruise
  • Admission to Moutoura Island Bird Sanctuary
  • Guided tour of Radom Seafarm

Tour Payments Per Person ($NZD)

Share Twin Cost: $4,720.00
Single Supplement: $800.00
Non-refundable deposit due at time of booking $200.00

Discounts available for Travel Club Members - Please Enquire

Full balance of tour payment due by Wednesday 19 October 2022

Book and pay in full by Tuesday 02 August 2022 and receive $150.00 discount per person. 


Are door to door collections included on this tour? YES

Yes. Leisure Time Tours 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? YES

Yes. Our Guaranteed Twin Share price is available for those passengers willing to share with another single traveller of the same gender. If there isn’t another passenger of the same gender to share with we GUARANTEE our twin share price. Leisure Times Tours accepts no responsibility for the compatibility of passengers travelling under this arrangement. If someone is not compatible with the person they have been matched up with, all additional costs incurred to assist with changing their shared room type to two single rooms will be at the expense of both travellers and will be subject to availability. Acceptance of a guaranteed twin share room is subject to the individual’s medical condition being suitable for this type of arrangement.

Please note that the guaranteed twin share pricing is not available to pre & post tour accommodation arrangements.

What fitness level is required for this tour? EASY LEVEL

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

Level 1 – Easy

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

Level 2 – Moderate

  • Be able to participate in walking tours with time to rest at least every 10 minutes
  • Stand for 15 minutes without needing to sit down
  • Tackle a flight of stairs or incline
  • Able to get on and off transportation unaided
  • Walk confidently on bush tracks

 Level 3 – Active

  • Participate in walking tours without having to rest for up to 20 minutes
  • Walk up an incline equal to a flight of stairs without stopping
  • Stand for 30 minutes without needing to sit down
  • Walk over uneven ground and walk through soft sand
  • Able to get on and off transportation unaided
Is this tour a guaranteed departure? NO

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

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.

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.

Are roadside morning teas included on this tour? YES

Yes. A point of difference is that wherever possible we offer our passengers roadside refreshments served from the coach. This gives all passengers the chance to mix and mingle over a hot cuppa allowing us to share our experiences as we journey together.

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.

Queen Charlotte Sound Explorer Tour
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