Uncharted Wilderness Tours

Guided Wilderness tours in the Marlborough Sounds NZ

Outer Queen Charlotte SoundCape Jackson LighthouseBunker Bluemine IslandSunrise Motuara Island

3 Day Back to Base Wilderness Adventure

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

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 Cape Jackson Peninsulahome, home of Queen Charlotte Wilderness Park and the longest network of privately owned walking tracks in the Queen Charlotte Sound.

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


Day one: Ship Cove to Anakakata Bay Lodge. Anakakata Bay Lodge to Cape Jackson lighthouse and return. 8 hours

Early morning will find you on the Picton waterfront, where you will board a boat for a comfortable and informative cruise through the Queen Charlotte Sound to Ship Cove. Here you will be Wilderness Explorermet by our boat and skipper, who will make sure the next few days are your most memorable as well as ensuring you and your luggage is transferred to your accommodation for the night. Board our boat for the journey to our destination and Anakakata Lodgeaccommodation, Anakakata Lodge, a 100 year old homestead on the Cape Jackson peninsula.

Once you have made yourself comfortable at the lodge, set out to explore the peninsula and its many attractions along the way. The trek will take you out to the northern most tip of the Queen Charlotte Sound and the Cape Jackson lighthouse. VentureCape Jackson Lighthouse out via the razor back neck of the peninsula to thelighthouse and enjoy the 360 degree views including the view of the North Island and the Cook Strait. Enjoy the wildlife, from the NZ fur sealNew 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. On the return walk enjoy a stop at the Golden Sandy Beachgolden sandy beach for lunch and a swim before continuing 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 a little penguin spotting to finish off the day. 

Day two:  Anakakata Bay Lodge, Cape Jackson to Bluemine Island Scenic Reserve and return. 8 hours

Cruise from Cape Jackson to Bluemine Island, our newest wildlife scenic reserve. Here you Bluemine Island Scenic Reservecan explore and walk to your hearts content. Learn that during world war II, two gun emplacements  and an army barracks for up to 22 men were constructed.  The housing itself was situated at the top of 215 steps and at sea level, a substantial wharf to land supplies and men, was also constructed.  TodayWharf remanents Bluemine Island the remnants of these sites can be seen along a newly upgraded track (Oruawairua) with the gun emplacements (made of thick concrete) still very much standing. The wildlife calling Watch House Bluemine IslandBluemine Island home includes orange fronted parakeet, saddleback, weka and the NZ Kauri Giant land snail (pupurangi). 

Later in the afternoon reboard our boat again to cruise back to your "base", Anakakata Bay Lodge for night two of food, fun and relaxation.

Day three:  Anakakata Bay Lodge, Cape Jackson to Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary, Ship Cove and return to Picton. 6 hours

Day three will find you exploring Motuara Island. We will cruise to Motuara Island bird Sunrisesanctuary following extreme coastlines of rocky, weather formed cliff faces. 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 NZ Robinformed track up to the top of the island zigzags through regenerating forest 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.

After enjoying what Motuara has to offer we will cruise over to Ship Ship CoveCove where you can absorb the raw beauty and history of this area before you willShip Cove Waterfall meet the boat for the return journey back to Picton 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.


$810NZ per person       child rate $590NZ per person


  • Water transport to and from Picton
  • Baggage transfers
  • Water transport between Ship Cove, Motuara Island and Bluemine Scenic Reserve
  • Two nights accommodation share twin or double ensuite. 3 course wilderness dinner plus continental breakfast all nights.

Please enquire for booking availability and times

Minimum of two persons applies to this tour. 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.


4 day Back to Base Wilderness Adventure

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