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    Migrating Humpbacks moving slowly past Tory channel
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    Marine Mammals
    Author: E-Ko Tours
    July 19, 2017

Wildlife Sanctuary and Marine Reserve Cruise

Best View in southern Marlborough Sounds


Enjoy the BEST 2 hour Wildlife Experience in the majestic Marlborough Sounds with the award winning local WILDLIFE EXPERTS!


We take you where the wildlife is!


Experience marine and land wildlife on a cruise to Marlborough's oldest marine reserve and our local Wildlife Sanctuary. Take a short stroll to the lookout and see the BEST view in the Southern Queen Charlotte Sound. 


Sea Birds

  • Little Blue Penguins
  • Fluttering Shearwaters
  • Artic and Pomeranian Skua 
  • White Fronted Turn
  • Spotted Shag, Pied Shag, Little Black Shag
  • Australasian Gannets


Marine Mammals

  • New Zealand Fur Seals
  • Dolphins, Hectors, Bottlenose, Common, Dusky, Orca


Land Birds

  • Fantail
  • Grey Warbler
  • Tui
  • Bellbird
  • New Zealand Wood Pigeon
  • New Zealand Robin
  • Rowi Kiwi




Fantastic opportunity to get up close to wildlife with our specially trained captains and get some amazing photos as we are the local WILDLIFE EXPERTS! .


We know all the local stories, both Maori and European. We are also trained on flora, fauna, geography and local history to make sure you have a great time with the BEST customer service locally.


Bring Suitable foot wear for a short stroll in Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary, up to the 80m above sea level lookout which is the BEST view in the southern Sounds. Alternatively, bring a bottle of wine and some snacks and sit and enjoy the peaceful ambience of the Wildlife Sanctuary at the picnic area entrance or if you're feeling adventurous, have swim from the jetty and beach.


Hear about the flora and fauna of the area; see the birds and marine mammals all in calm sheltered waters with an unforgettable scenic backdrop. 


Use the self-guide information on Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary to educate yourself on local plant species and bird species while you enjoy the freedom to actually touch, see and feel them for real.


We are located conveniently on Picton's main Waterfront with car parking close by and only a 1-minute walk from the main street. Just look for the Dusky Dolphin outside our shop!


Come inside to see our stunning display of life size models of the wildlife species you will encounter on your experience. Wildlife information can be downloaded FREE to your phone www.e-ko.nz/digital-info-cards


Board our purpose built vessels at our floating wharf for your small group experience before embarking on your cruise through the scenic and sheltered waters of the southern Queen Charlotte Sound. 

Commonly seen on this tour

Little Blue Penguin

Little Blue Penguin

(Eudyptula minor)

The world’s smallest penguin, little penguin (also known as little blue penguin) stand just over 25 cm and weigh around one kg. They spend much of their time at sea hunting small fish, crustaceans and squid.

New Zealand Fur Seal

New Zealand Fur Seal

(Arctocephalus forsteri)

Population: about 200,000, half of which are in Australia.
Found on: rocky shores throughout mainland New Zealand, the Chatham Islands, and the Subantarctic islands, as well as parts of Australia.


Fur seals and sea lions are distinguished from other seals by their external ear flaps and hind flippers which rotate forward, allowing them to move quickly on land.

Departure Information

  • Duration

    2-3 hours
  • Briefing Time

    Viewing Only - 30 Minutes before tour departure


1 wellington street Picton
View Map View Map


  • Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Marine reserve
  • Little blue Penguins
  • New Zealand Fur Seals
  • Feed fish
More Info

Tour Gallery

Conservation Initiatives

Here at E-Ko Tours we are proud to follow the Marine Mammal Protection Act 1978 and the Marine Mammal Protection Regulations 1992. These ensure the marine mammals of New Zealand are protected and that their conservation is a top priority. Our interactions with the marine mammals of the Marlborough Sounds adhere to all regulations and our conservation focused tours are designed to educate and raise awareness about conservation in the Marlborough Sounds.