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Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary and Ship Cove Cruise from Picton

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2 travellers
    What to Expect
    Board your boat at the Picton waterfront and settle in for the 1-hour cruise through Queen Charlotte Sound to Motuara Island, with an additional stop in Ship Cove. Throughout the 4.5-hour excursion, your captain shares area highlights including the wildlife and human history of the Marlborough Sounds. Sip complimentary tea and coffee as you search the waters for little blue penguins and Hector’s dolphins — considered the rarest marine dolphin in the world.

    Disembark to explore the Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary on your own via an interpretive trail leading to a lookout point at the island’s summit. The regenerated forest has been cleared of all predators, making way for rare native birds to flourish here. 

    During your 60–90 minutes on Motuara, be on the lookout for the saddleback, New Zealand robin, kiwi, bellbird, tui, grey warbler, New Zealand pigeon, silver eye and fantail. You may also view waterbirds like shearwaters, shags and gannets, and glimpse the Maud Island frog and Marlborough green gecko.

    At the designated time, re-board the vessel for the 10-minute ride to Ship Cove, where Captain James Cook anchored the Endeavor in 1770. Explore the monuments, displays and sheltered beach for 30 minutes before returning to Picton.

    Please note: It is recommended that you bring your own food, as there are no shops or cafes to purchase snacks during the tour.
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    Reviews (14)
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    1 - 5 of 6 reviews
    Reviewed January 26, 2019

    Maybe my mistake, but I though this was a birdwatching trip with other activities. Seemed to spend too much time stopping at various places along the way and ended up rushed at the island and only saved the day by seeing a penguin in a...More

    Date of experience: January 2019
    1  Thank Chris S
    Reviewed April 4, 2018

    Beachcomber does a fantastic job all around -- the boat was excellent, crew very knowledgeable and friendly, and the experience top-flight. Dolphins swam alongside the boat for awhile. On Motuara Island, we were lucky enough to find two blue penguins inside one of the nesting...More

    Date of experience: April 2018
    Thank Sally-on-the-go
    BeachcomberPicton, Reservations at Beachcomber Cruises, responded to this reviewResponded April 24, 2018

    Hi Sally , Thank you for taking the time to write us a review. We are pleased to hear as a company we have provided a great service all round.We really are blessed to have such incredible staff working for us willing to go the...More

    Reviewed February 22, 2018

    Amazing service from beachcomber cruise. The captain was very helpful in explaining everything during the cruise and was an exceptional service

    Date of experience: February 2018
    Thank AngeloAnojan
    BeachcomberPicton, Front Office at Beachcomber Cruises, responded to this reviewResponded February 23, 2018

    Hey AngeloAnojan Thanks for your TripAdvisor review! I'm very happy to hear that you had a great time on our cruise and that you enjoyed our services, that's very good feedback!

    Reviewed January 31, 2018

    What a great team you've got here! The customer service was outstanding. I was looking for a water taxi to take me out to Ship Cove and the start of the QCT, and Beachcomber offered a very reasonable option. It was a nice clean vessel,...More

    Date of experience: January 2018
    Thank lomichellefritz
    BeachcomberPicton, front office at Beachcomber Cruises, responded to this reviewResponded February 14, 2018

    Hey lomichellefritz Thanks for your email, im sure that we can help you out with some transport out to the Queen Charlotte Track. Thanks for your comments about our team, we do pride ourselves in providing a fantastic level of customer service so im glad...More

    Reviewed December 28, 2017 via mobile

    We did the ship cove cruise and had the worst 4.5 hours ever. The commentary was mind numbing. Nothing of interest was said, just a load of boring information about the prices or features or rich owners of the houses that we passed. It became...More

    3  Thank Roving746204
    BeachcomberPicton, Front Office at Beachcomber Cruises, responded to this reviewResponded January 8, 2018

    Hello TripAdvisor User We are very sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your cruise with us, most people do usually enjoy the extra stops that the boat does as it gives passengers more of a chance to see some extra scenery. Unfortunately this...More

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    Questions & Answers
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    August 8, 2018|
    Response from keezaTugun |
    Have not been on the Island , better to check with the Launch Co , they are very good , usually i book the day before i go . Originally i m from the Marlborough area , love the Sound s visit whenever over home , be there... More
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