Uncharted Wilderness Tours

Guided Wilderness tours in the Marlborough Sounds NZ

Wilderness ExplorerSunrise on Motuara IslandResident of Motuara Island - RobinMotuara Island Monument

True Sunrise/Dawn Chorus Tour

Join our 3 day guided walking/boat tour to explore the Outer Queen Charlotte Sounds and an Outer Sanctuary Island. 

Each day sets out on a variation of exciting places to explore. Travel in Captain Cooks "boat wake" from Ship Cove to Cape Jackson peninsula, our home, and home of Queen Charlotte Wilderness Park.  ​Sunrise at Motuara

Journey through some of the most deserted and exposed landscape in the area, experience an exquisite sunrise, with a ringing background of bird call, at one of the unique Sanctuary Islands and commune with the animal and marine life that calls the Marlborough Sounds their home.


Day one: Ship Cove to Cape Jackson peninsula  

Early afternoon will find you on the Picton waterfront where you will board a vessel for a comfortable and informative cruise through the Queen Charlotte Sound to Ship Cove, arriving mid afternoon. Here you will meet your guide and take a leisurely walk to Ship Cove waterfall, enjoying coastal bush at its finest. Learn how Captain Cook utilised this waterfall and its pristine water quality. Return to Cooks monument and absorb the raw beauty of this historic area. Then board our boat for the journey to our destination and accommodation, Anakakata Lodge, a 100 year old homestead on the Cape Jackson peninsula.​​Homestead

Arrive at the lodge in time to enjoy a 3 course 'wilderness' dinner and relaxing evening with perhaps an independent penguin spotting tour to finish off the day. 

Day two: Sunrise/Dawn chorus Motuara Island, Cape Jackson Peninsula.  

Explore Motuara Island at dawn, by boat. We will cruise to Motuara Island bird sanctuary following extreme coastlines of rocky, weather formed, cliff faces learning about its history and wildlife. We will also circumnavigate the ​island learning about its past, present and future. You will then have the opportunity to visit the island and enjoy the special wildlife it has e.g. saddlebacks (tieke), NZ Robin (toutouwai),Bellbird (korimako), tui, NZ pigeon (kereru), Little Blue penguin, Marlborough Green Gecko and Maud Island Frog. The well formed track up to the top of the island zigzags through regenerating Resident of Motuara Island - Robinforest where there is a great 360 degree view of the sounds and a chance to see a spectacular sunrise. A comprehensive wildlife identification manual will be available to take with you.

Early morning board our boat again back to Anakakata Lodge where, after a spot of breakfast, we will set out to explore the peninsula and its many attractions along the way. Our trek will take us out to the northern most tip of the Queen Charlotte Sound and the Cape Jackson lighthouse.

Venture out via the razor back neck of the peninsula to the lighthouse itself and enjoy the 360 degree views, including the view of the North Island and the Cook Strait. Enjoy the wildlife, from the New Zealand fur seals to an abundance of seabirds and if you are lucky, perhaps dolphins or even whales. ​Here we see wildlife that isn’t often seen in the inner sounds, including the king shag and the Northern Giant Petrel. Return via the loop track, through regenerating forest lands that were once farmed. Arrive back at the lodge in time to enjoy a 3 course 'wilderness' dinner and relaxing evening with perhaps an independent penguin spotting tour to finish off the day. 

Todays trip exposes us to the values of looking after our environment and how we can preserve these valuable resources. Night two is again enjoyed at Anakakata Lodge and our guest Homestead loungespeaker, after dinner, elaborates on this theme in an informative laid back discussion to round off our very busy day.

Day three: Cruise and Return (departure day)

Return to Picton via the western shores of the Queen Charlotte Sound. We take you to Ship Cove on our boat aiming to catch a last glimpse of any wildlife we may have missed. We will meet the boat here for the return journey through parts of the sounds that you didn’t get to see on your way out. This includes the coastal home of the famous inner Queen Charlotte Track. This return cruise offers you a relaxing time to reflect on your adventure with us before completing your journey and arriving in Picton at approximately 1pm.


True Sunrise/Dawn Chorus Tour

$970NZ per person       child rate $690NZ per person


  • Water transport to and from Picton .

  • Baggage transfers

  • Knowledgeable and friendly guide to help you enjoy your holiday to the fullest

  • Two nights accommodation share twin or double ensuite. 3 course wilderness dinner plus continental breakfasts all nights. Packed lunch

  • Complimentary glass of wine or other beverage each night​

Please enquire for booking availability and times.

Minimum of two persons applies to all tours. Subject to availability and weather.

Prices are valid to 30 June 2019 but are subject to change.

Prices $NZ and include NZ Goods & Services Tax (GST).

Child rates – up to 12 years.

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