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Picton Mail Boat

Picton is a seaside town located at the top of New Zealand’s South Island and accessible by the Queen Charlotte waterways. Despite being a small town, Picton doesn’t fall short in providing things to do. So for those after a unique holiday activity, hopping aboard a historic mail boat cruise to uphold a 150-year-old tradition to deliver mail may be just the ticket.

keys on Omega keytag sml

Keytag Bonus:

Receive a 10% discount on cruises and day walks upon presentation of your Omega keytag - see full details below!

The Mail Boat of Picton is one of a kind, being the only official licensed New Zealand Post Rural delivery service operating on the Queen Charlotte Sound waterways.

Share the excitement with Beachcomber Cruises as you explore the Marlborough Sounds. Many families living in these waterways are without road access and rely on the Picton Mail Boat to deliver rural post bags and groceries. Joining Beachcomber cruises in Picton gives you a unique opportunity to view the beautiful Marlborough Sounds and gain insight into the local people's way of life.

The Beachcomber Mail Boat docked on the Queen Charlotte Sound.

The Beachcomber Mail Boat docked on the Queen Charlotte Sound

Beachcomber Cruises sets out on the Marlborough Sounds mail run from The Waterfront on the corner of London Quay and Wellington St, every day except Sunday. The boat departure time is 1.30 pm from Picton, and the return is about 5.30 – 6.00 pm. On any given day, all Picton cruises are different as the mail route changes to cover different areas. So, the return time depends on how much mail needs to be delivered by boat that day.

Relax on this uniquely popular trip and listen to the informative commentary by the knowledgable skippers. Keep your camera handy for visiting dolphins and other marine mammals such as New Zealand fur seals!

Enjoy tea and coffee onboard as you sit back and let your eyes explore the stunning scenery. Beachcomber Cruises cares for the land, sea and nature, so single-use cups are no longer available. Instead, they sell their own keep cups on selected vessels.

If time allows, your skipper will pause this interesting tour at one of the brilliant locations for a site visit. This may be Ship Cove (named by Captain James Cook in 1770) or one of the resorts in the Endeavour Inlet.

Ship Cove and the beginning of Queen Charlotte Track.

Ship Cove and the beginning of Queen Charlotte Track

Then it’s time to get back on the Mail Boat and cruise back to Picton in time for dinner, perhaps making a few more mail deliveries.

Beachcomber Cruises’ Mail Boat Cruise makes for a great afternoon out in Picton, especially in the Summer months when the sun shines off the Queen Charlotte Sound’s sparkling waters.

keys on Omega keytag sml

Keytag Bonus:

Receive a 10% discount on cruises and day walks upon presentation of your Omega keytag:

Cruises:

The Mailboat Cruise         Departs 1:30pm

Ship Cove Cruise              Departs 9:00am

Day walks:

Ship Cove to Furneaux lodge      Departs 9:00am year round, Summer 8:00am (Oct –April)

Furneaux Lodge to Punga Cove Departs 9:00am year round

Collage photos of tourists enjoying the Picton mail boat cruise.