The district's main port of Picton is located at the head of Queen Charlotte Sound, approximately 17 nautical miles from Cook Strait, and serves as the South Island terminus for a number of passenger, vehicle and freight ferries. The port also exports bulk timber from the newly developed deep-water berth in Shakespeare Bay, immediately west of Picton. Export volumes are expected to reach 700,000 tonnes per annum within the next five to seven years.
For many years the Sounds have been the centre of the New Zealand marine farming industry, particularly of greenshell mussels. Marine farms have been established throughout the district, most of them in Pelorus Sound. Harvested product is landed in several areas, with Havelock at the head of Pelorus Sound being the focal area for this industry.
The Marlborough Sounds are recognised worldwide as an area of immense natural beauty and unspoiled environment, and attract large numbers of pleasure boats.
Marinas at Waikawa Bay, Picton and Havelock offer both permanent and casual berthage and other facilities. All marinas are operated by Port Marlborough New Zealand Limited who may be contacted on (03) 520 3399.
Picton Harbour Radio operates on a 24-hour basis for enquiries and information and can be contacted on channel 19 VHF.
Being Safe on the Water
The Marlborough Sounds Safe Boating Brochure for summer 12/13 provides information to help you have an enjoyable and safe time on the water this summer. Copies of the brochure are also available from the Marlborough District Council Customer Service Centres in Blenheim or Picton, as well as from the Waikawa, Picton and Havelock marinas.
Marlborough Sounds Safe Boating Brochure (1.5 Mb)
See Jet Skis, Ski and Swim Lanes, Kayaking and Rowing and Swimming Locations for more information on safety, swimming information and water quality.
Navigational Risk Assessment
Council is now wishing to further the recommendations made in the risk assessment in order to implement the risk control measures identified. However, before it can move forward, a sustainable source of funding must be identified which will address the continued operation of the Harbours Department into the future.
Marlborough Sounds Harbour Navigational Risk Assessment (1,300 Kb)
A consultation paper has been prepared which outlines a number of funding recovery options. Submissions closed 7 September 2006.
An extensive network of navigation aids exists throughout the area to ensure that all vessels are able to navigate safely.