Thursday, 8 April 2021

Marlborough Sounds


You'll find the 4 Sounds that make up the Marlborough Sounds at the top of the South Island of New Zealand.


The 4 sounds are – Queen Charlotte, Kenepuru, Pelorus and Mahau.  They are drowned river valleys formed after the last ice age.


Picton is on the Queen Charlotte sound.  It is also where the inter island ferries dock if you come over from Wellington.  For trampers, there is a Queen Charlotte track – a 43 mile track from Ship Cove to Anakiwa (usually takes 3 to 5 days).   


Ship Cove is famous for being Capt James Cook's favourite anchorage on his travel around NZ.  Anakiwa is also where Outward Bound is based.  Queen Charlotte Sound was named by Cook after the wife of King George III.


Kenepuru Sound is 16 miles long and is parallel to Queen Charlotte.  In Te Reo (Maori) it apparently means 'silt' which is not very inspiring…   There is also a suburb in the Wellington Region named Kenepuru as well as a Hospital.  You can get to this sound by road from Picton – so it is a popular holiday destination.


Pelorus Sound is the longest sound – about 34 miles. It was named after the ship that first surveyed it.   


There was a famous dolphin in the sound, called funnily enough, Pelorus Jack.  He frequented the sound from the late 1880's to about 1912.


The best way to get about the sounds is on the water by boat, water taxi or kayak.


The majority of NZ's green lipped mussels are found here.  I can't bear them after the trauma of pressure cooking a sugar sack full years ago – but many people love them.


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