Queen Charlotte Sound Regional Information
Queen Charlotte Sound | Regional Information
Queen Charlotte Sound offers many bush walks providing spectacular views and is known for calm waters that are ideal for sailing, cruises and kayaking.
Queen Charlotte Sound Overview
Queen Charlotte Sound (known as Totaranui by the Māori for its large stands of this fine canoe-building timber) is the easternmost of the main sounds of the Marlborough Sounds, in the Marlborough region of New Zealand's South Island.
Of the four sounds that make up the Marlborough Sound - Kenepuru, Pelorus, Mahau and Queen Charlotte - the Queen Charlotte is the most well known, and is dominated by bush-clad shorelines, deep bays and coves, ideal for exploring by sea kayak.
The town of Picton, lies near the head of the sound. Other settlements by the sound are small and isolated and due to the rugged nature of the coast, for many of these access is by boat only.
Queen Charlotte Sound is an eco-marine haven, where seals, dolphins, penguins, gannets and shearwaters abound. The calm waters make it popular for sailing - a marked contrast to the notorious waters of Cook Strait, where many ships have been wrecked close to the entrance to the Sound.
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Queen Charlotte Sound Highlights
Stretching between the Queen Charlotte and Keneperu Sound is the Queen Charlotte Track, a 71-kilometre track renowned for its stunning views and contrasting landscape, historical landmarks and wonderful variety of native bush and wildlife.
The track is wide and benched in most sections and popular with all ages and abilities – from walkers wanting an adventure experience, to first time hikers.
Visitors to the Queen Charlotte Track will find this a unique walk as it passes through lush coastal forest, historic bays, and along skyline ridges with unsurpassed views of Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds.
This walk is as much about a walking holiday as it is an environmental, cultural and lifestyle experience.
Located at the head of the sound is Motuara Island, an important historic site, as it was here that Captain James Cook proclaimed British sovereignty in 1770. Now a bird sanctuary, Motuara Island provides a safe haven for many rare species, including the South Island Saddleback and Bush Robin.