The Marlborough Sounds are undeniably picturesque, a stimulating filigree of bays, inlets, islands and peninsulas rising abruptly from the water to rugged, lush green wilderness and open farmland. Large parts are only accessible by sea, which also provides the ideal vantage point for witnessing its splendour. The area is part working farms, including salmon or mussel farms, and part given over to some fifty-odd reserve areas – a mixture of islands, sections of coast and land-bound tracts. The Sounds’ nexus, Picton, is the jumping-off point for Queen Charlotte Sound where cruises and water taxis provide access to the undemanding, varied and scenic Queen Charlotte Track. Heading west, Queen Charlotte Drive winds precipitously to the small community of Havelock, New Zealand’s green-lipped mussel capital, before exploring the spectacular vistas of Pelorus Sound and perhaps taking the backroads or a boat to view the rich swirling waters of French Pass.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

New Zealand features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
24 breaks for bookworms

24 breaks for bookworms

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas In 1971, fuelled by a cornucopia of drugs, Hunter S. Thompson set off for Las Vegas on his “savage journey to the heart of …

02 Mar 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge camera_alt Gallery
How to find the right New Zealand for you

How to find the right New Zealand for you

While it may not loom large on the world map, New Zealand feels incredibly vast and imposing on the ground, especially to those who try to visit the North and S…

23 May 2016 • Eric Grossman insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month