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Queen Charlotte Track Drop-Off- Ship Cove


  • CHEAPEST Transport to Ship Cove
  • Fully Guided Transport with Wildlife and Dolphin stops
  • Experience Marlborough Sounds Wildlife and scenery
  • For Track Walkers only and your Packs
  • Pick Up available at Ships Cove at 1615

Save the planet –
Take an E-Ko Tour!

A portion of each tour fee goes back into conservation

Tour info in brief

1-1.5 Hour
8.00 AM ; 13.30 PM
Pricing: Adult: $70
Child: $40 (5-15)
Infant: $30 (0-4)
Location: 1 Wellington Street Picton
Briefing: 7.45 AM: 1315 PM

No Seasickness Guarantee

About the Tour

We’ll transport you to Ship Cove – the start of the Queen Charlotte Track, Ship Cove (Meretoto) and give you a FREE Wildlife our on the way:-) The BEST and Cheapest way to start a Walk along the fantastic Queen Charlotte Track.$70  

History of Ship Cove or Meretoto

This is where Kupe arrived 800 years ago and his descendants meet Captain Cook who spent 170 days their over 9 years. Cook based 3 voyages from here and visited 5 times. In 1821 we also had a Russian Expedition spend time at Meretoto. It has always been a great place to relax and enjoy the amazing beauty and tranquillity of this spectacular sheltered fertile location. There is a lot of historical information on Display at Ship Cove.  

We stop for Wildlife along the way 🙂 

You can enjoy the only Local Water Transport service that stops for Wildlife, Dolphins, Seals, Seabirds and has an Experienced Crew with a WCA Certified Marine Guide that will inform you about local wildlife, conservation and the local area. You’ll experience a huge variety of wildlife you can also see more land-based wildlife on the Premier Wildlife Sanctuary by upgrading this Drop off to include Motuara Island or other options below.

Pick Up Times for 1/2 or Full Day Tours:

You can also spend 1/2 day or a Full day at Ship Cove (Meretoto) and get picked up to return to Picton at 11 am – 4.15 pm from Ship Cove.  

Short Walk and Day Tour Extras: 

Motuara Island Wildlife Sanctuary Guided Tour for $30. Return to Picton from Ships Cove $70 Snorkel and mask Hire $10 Wetsuit $20  

Recommended Extras 

This beautiful location Ship Cove ( Meretoto) is rich not only in History yet also has lots to do and do then we highly recommend the below options; A. Go and see the Beautiful Waterfall which 1-hour return to Ship Cove. B. Take a walk up to see the ancient Trees along the NEW track, up to 1400-year-old Totara Trees, and the Summit lookout is spectacular with Motuara island as a backdrop. C. Hire a Mask and Snorkel and Wetsuit and enjoy the snorkelling in clear calm waters.$30   Call us to discuss what would suit you best or just book online and upgrade when you arrive:-)

Kupes pole at Ship Cove Dolphin Watching at E-Ko NZ Fur Seal on rock in Picton Outer sounds islands aerial Weka close up little blue penguins Hectors Dolphin Lookout at Ship Cove Totara tree Ship Cove Monument


What to expect

We depart at 8.00 AM and 1330 PM from Picton daily (check-in at 7.45 AM/ 1315 PM) and you’ll be greeted by our friendly team – feel free to purchase a coffee from our shop 🙂 Our comfortable vessels and expert team take you on a conservation-focused, wildlife adventure for your soul. On our journey, we’ll be encountering a huge variety of rare, wonderful and interesting species along the way. Approximately one hour later you’ll arrive at Ship Cove/ Meretoto, where your next adventure starts.

What to bring

All your gear for your Queen Charlotte Track experience Please note our shuttle is for walkers only – we can’t transport bikes 🙂

  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Water
  • Camera
  • Good Walking shoes


Where are we?

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.

Before your tour starts feel free to take a seat inside the shop or outside on our sun drenched deck and enjoy the stunning views.

Customers can also get online with our free WiFi, and purchase a tea or coffee to enjoy on the deck.

You will Never Miss your Ferry

Our tour schedules are integrated with the Interislander – so there is no chance that you’ll miss your ferry.

What people are saying about us

Fantastic tour 5 STAR My wife and I have just returned from a half-day tour. We found this company paid attention to every detail, they delivered exactly what was promised, this of course was with the help of very obliging Hectors Dolphins, seals and a large variety of birds. A very informative commentary by Paul and Tania, both very knowledgeable on all things to do with the area and the local wildlife Best New Zealand boat tour we’ve taken so far 5 Star Captain Paul and guide Tania were awesome. Our family had such a good time. Of course, it helps that the weather was perfect and the wildlife were feeling cooperative. We saw Australasian gannets, Hector’s dolphins, fluttering shearwaters, a blue penguin, South Island robins (the other Motuara Island birds were shy), and lots of shags, including the rare king shag. The tour was full but “full” meant 30 passengers so it felt pretty intimate. We enjoyed cookies, tea, hot chocolate, mussels (well, I didn’t enjoy them but I don’t like mussels), and local wine on the return trip to the harbor. I would’ve liked a bit more time on Motuara Island, but rules are rules so an hour it was. We’ve taken multiple boat tours in New Zealand including Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, Te Anau, and Ulva Island. They’ve all been fun but my whole family agrees that this one is our favorite.