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View the magnificent scenery of the Marlborough Sounds and get a glimpse of daily life in the remote outposts via New Zealand Post rural delivery service through Queen Charlotte Sound.

Meet the mail boat in the afternoon at the Picton waterfront, and relax with complimentary tea and coffee on board. The 4-hour boat tour travels into various bays, coves and inlets detailed by the captain, then wraps up with a stop at Ship Cove (1st Oct to 30th April) where Captain Cook anchored the Endeavor in 1770.

You have 15 minutes here to explore the beach and see a memorial to Captain Cook as well as wood-carved Maori statues. Read informative displays about the island and search for birdlife such as oyster catchers, weka and paradise ducks.

Mail routes change depending on the day of the week; see the Itinerary for a sample of scheduled delivery.
Locations visited
Picton Sound
Beachcomber Cruises
Visit the remote communities of Queen Charlotte Sound aboard a working mail boat. This scenic 4-hour boat cruise departs Picton in the afternoon and makes New Zealand Post rural delivery service along different routes each day of the week. Experience the lifestyle of the Marlborough Sounds firsthand as the boat captain shares regional history and stories of these isolated hamlets. Enjoy complimentary tea and coffee on board and disembark for a 15-minute stop at Ship Cove (1st Oct to 30th April).
  • 4-hour cruise through Queen Charlotte Sound on the mail boat, from Picton
  • Travel with the only official New Zealand Post rural water delivery service in the region
  • See remote communities in the Marlborough Sounds, which constitute a fifth of New Zealand’s coastline
  • Visit Ship Cove (1st Oct to 30th April), a favorite anchorage of Captain Cook and site of early contact between Maoris and Europeans
  • Learn about the history of the region from your experienced captain
  • Disembark at Ship Cove to see the Captain Cook memorial, Maori wood carvings and stroll along the beach
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Reviewed 28 April 2018 via mobile
Rain didn't matter!

Wet weather stayed away until heading back to Picton. Didn't detract from a great trip on the Mail Run. Enjoyed looking around Ships Cove where a fantail followed us as we walked around. Well displayed history information. Interesting commentary from John along the way as...More

1  Thank Julie W
BeachcomberPicton, Reservations at Beachcomber Cruises, responded to this reviewResponded 28 April 2018

Good Afternoon Julie, Thank you for your review. We are glad to hear you recently had a wonderful time on the Mail Run. It really is a great cruise rain or shine ! Safe travels ! Kind Regards,

Reviewed 18 April 2018
Unique experience of the Marlborough Sounds

This is a unique and fun experience if you’re thinking about taking a cruise through the Marlborough Sounds. Lucky us, we enjoyed a very sunny day out on the water. After ten minutes on the boat we encountered a huge group of happy dolphins, this...More

Thank Kristel B
BeachcomberPicton, Reservations at Beachcomber Cruises, responded to this reviewResponded 28 April 2018

Hi Kristel , Thank you for your wonderful review. We are please to hear you recently had a great time on one of our cruises. This time of year is a great time to visit as the wild life really do come out to play...More

Reviewed 9 April 2018
Great day out..

In early March I was in Picton and didn't want to miss an opportunity to see the Marlborough Sounds Helped by a warm sunny day , it was a superb afternoon out Interesting to see the mail still being delivered by sea , the captain...More

Thank flatworm
Reviewed 2 April 2018
Awesome trip

A trip with the mailboat is a must do if you're in Picton and the weather is nice. We took the trip to Furneaux Lodge, where we went ashore. Then we walked to Punga Cove where we were picked up again by the mailboat. On...More

Thank Jeroen B
BeachcomberPicton, Reservations at Beachcomber Cruises, responded to this reviewResponded 3 April 2018

Hello Jeroen , Firstly i would like to take this time to thank you for your review. We are extremely happy to hear you have had a great trip all round. It sounds like Mother Nature has treated you very well. We are just so...More

Reviewed 27 March 2018
Enjoyable afternoon cruise

we selected the mail boat cruise and boy was it great. my wife and I had nearly 5 hours on the boat going up into extremely isolated areas of the queen charlotte sound sitting up on the top deck on a pretty good weather day....More

Thank jackbarra
BeachcomberPicton, Reservations at Beachcomber Cruises, responded to this reviewResponded 3 April 2018

Hello Jack , On behalf of the company i would like to thank you for your feedback. It is just great to hear you have enjoyed the mail boat cruise. The Mail boat is just a great way to see the sounds experiencing the hidden...More

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