Mainland Island native wildlife sanctuary located in the Marlborough Sounds of New Zealand.
Wilderness hiking, Accommodation, Marine activities. Where humans and nature work in harmony.

More Activities

Note: We have established a marine protected area around the breakwater area. Please do not fish or take any seafood inside or within 100 metres of the marina entrance.

Boating and Kayaking

We can provide a berth for your own boat in our sheltered marina. We have two single kayaks which you can use to cruise our clear waters to get close to our marine life which is the simply the best of its type that one can get.


The most common place for people to swim is in and around our little marina which is very clean and deep. Another place with walking access is near the lighthouse at an idyllic golden sand cove. Here as in all of NZ there are very few dangerous things in the water to spoil your fun.


If you want to get even closer to our marine life the waters around the park provide for top diving, either scuba or snorkel Water clarity is always excellent on one side of the peninsula if not both. Water temperature varies from about 10° in winter to about 18° in summer. The environment is varied from the extensive kelp covered reefs on the east side to more open boulder strewn and sandy bottoms of the west side. Crayfish are generally available all year round for scuba and at some times of the year at snorkel depths. Shellfish are plentiful.

There are two old wrecks right on the coast (see map) and the Russian Cruise Ship, Mikhail Lementov, lies just offshore in Port Gore.

We have basic snorkel gear including wet suits which you can borrow. Many good sites have a track or road to them allowing most diving to be land based.

We can also support offshore scuba diving but this will need to be by prearrangement. We specialise in individuals, couples or small groups who want to have the best diving possible but either do not have their own suitable boat, have their own boat but do not wish to travel long distances to the best grounds each day, or do not wish to join a charter boat group. We have a very experienced scuba guide available who will give top quality personal attention, if it is required. We can arrange for hire tanks, or any other equipment you may need. We do not have filling facilities for dive tanks, but we can arrange refills from Picton.


There are few places in New Zealand, including most of the Marlborough Sounds, where fish can be caught easily. The ocean around the Park is one such area, so far, because of its isolation and proximity to the rich waters of Cook Strait. Having a well roaded and island like structure we always have a sheltered side. Most fish can be caught off the rocks. There are very few days that this cannot be done.

Shellfish gathering is really easy. We have good stocks of Paua and Green Mussel.

Many people who come here like to eat seafood because of the rare opportunity to gather the supply so conveniently. The ability to shore base this activity means that the whole family can become easily involved.

The most common species caught close to shore are Blue Cod and Terakihi which are found anywhere along the coast. Blue Cod are most common round the points, just offshore, while Terakihi can be found just outside or in clear patches in the seaweed. There are normally good quantities of Moki and Butterfish inside the weed.

We will be happy to advise you on the most suitable places for the particular season and weather. We are also happy to advise you on the preparation of the delicacies with which you may not be familiar. Or we can prepare them for you at dinner if you wish.

The experienced are welcome to bring their own equipment. For the novice we keep a stock of hand lines.

Mountain Biking

Many of our trails are suitable for mountain bikes. Pre-arrangement is necessary because we prefer this not to clash with other uses of the trails.


Do not forget to bring your camera. There are some genuinely unusual and amazing photographic opportunities here.

Lazing About

It should not be thought that life at Queen Charlotte Wilderness Park is always some sort of Outward Bound Course. Many people come simply to recharge the batteries, or perhaps give some undistracted attention to a problem or a task that they may have.

The lodge is comfortable and homely, with a nice outdoor barbecue area and the views are wonderful. All rooms have their own bathrooms. A roaring fire and the many books and games in our library should take care of any bad weather.

We specialise in privacy for those who wish it. We only have a small lodge and if you wish you can be our only guest by taking one of our exclusive options. Even if you share, remember that our private land totals about 1500 acres with 20km of coast. The neighbouring lands are a deserted reserve. It is not hard to find a place for yourself.


Contact us for bookings or enquiries

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