Beachcomber Mail Boat Cruise - Queen Charlotte Sound

Picton is a seaside town, located at the top of New Zealand’s South Island and accessible by the waters of Queen Charlotte Sound. Despite being a small town, Picton doesn’t fall short on providing things to do for those looking to experience a bit of New Zealand. For those after a unique holiday activity; a Mail Boat Cruise with Beachcomber Fun Cruises 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 Beachcomber Mail Boat is one of a kind; being the only official licensed New Zealand Post Rural delivery service operated on in the water of Queen Charlotte Sound.  There are many locals who live nestled in the beautiful bays of the Queen Charlotte Sound, who rely on the Beachcomber Mail Boat to deliver mail and groceries. Joining a Mail Boat cruise is a unique opportunity to view the spectacular bays of Queen Charlotte Sound as well as gain some insight into the way of life of people living in the Sound.

Beachcomber Mail Boat

The Beachcomber Mail Boat docked on the Queen Charlotte Sound

Beachcomber Cruises offer their Mail Boat cruise every day except Sunday. Departure time is 1.30pm from Picton and return is at about 5.30 – 6.00pm. Each day on the Mail Boat Cruise is different, and time of return is dependent on how much mail needs to be delivered on a particular day. The Saturday mail run offers the longest journey time as this includes travelling out to Cape Jackson, which because of its further distance, only gets mail and groceries delivered once a week. After departing from Picton, the Beachcomber Mail Boat makes its way up toward the Western side of Arapawa Island to begin dropping of packages to expectant residents.

The Mail Boat cruise also includes a stop off at Ship Cove; named and made famous by Captain James Cook who anchored his ship, The Endeavour, here in 1770 to replenish supplies of food, water and wood. Captain Cook returned to Ship Cove four times between 1770 and 1777 – and we don’t blame him; it’s a great spot! The stop at Ship Cove allows for some time to explore, take photos and walk on the beach.

 Ship Cove

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 deliveries on the way.

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

keys on Omega keytag sml

Keytag Bonus:

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


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,  Summer 8:00am (Oct- April)

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