Marlborough Sounds/Tasman Bay Yacht Charter Guide

The Marlborough Sounds are a maze of deep sunken river valleys formed as the top of the South Island dipped into the sea over millions of years, surrounded by spectacular scenery and nature at its best. Beyond is the sweeping Tasman Bay, the city of Nelson and the world-acclaimed Abel Tasman National Park. The entire South Island is world renowned for its dramatic and picturesque landscapes, and this sailing region on the northern tip should be high on any sailor's to-do list.

About Yacht Charters in the Marlborough Sounds & Tasman Bay

The Marlborough Sounds are unique, there is no doubt about that. The Sounds offer shelter and deep water where common practice is to tie up to the shore. The water's edge around here is dotted with beach cribs - modest Kiwi holiday homes - and more substantial homes. What is missing are the roads, and property access around this far-flung community is mainly by boat.

This is a busy place of fishermen, boaties and holiday makers coming and going, but there is so much space that the Marlborough Sounds offer one of the more solitary boat charters available. Where this place differs from other remote destinations is in the lodges, hotels and cafes that also populate the area. 

Inside the Sounds and sailing out of the picturesque town of Picton, the sailing can be marginal. Power boats are popular here. The wind is usually blowing one way or the other down the sunken river valleys you are sailing, with occasional gusts rushing off the high hills.

Once outside the Sounds, a fantastic sailing destination opens up when you set a course for Tasman Bay. This part of New Zealand is the sunniest in the country. While it is well to the south as sailboat charter locations go, the region's north-facing aspect creates a micro-climate that leaves the rain on the other side of the Southern Alps.

Between the city of Nelson in Tasman Bay and Golden Bay to the west is the headland that supports Abel Tasman National Park. This is New Zealand's most accessible and popular national park, a fabulous nature reserve with stunning coastline, estuaries and forested hills full of things that scuttle, swim, fly or simply grow. Nelson is a major provincial center of business, while the towns of Golden Bay are smaller rural settlements populated by many artisans and alternative lifestylers. 

This is a small and as yet undeveloped charter boat market, something of a 'best-kept secret". With our local knowledge we will locate an excellent boat for your sailing holiday needs, supplied only by a professional local operator.

Our Charter Services

At Sail Connections we make planning your bareboat or crewed yacht charter easy and enjoyable. Our team members have sailed in New Zealand most of our lives, and we would be delighted to share with you our favourite anchorages, places to go and things to do.

We can advise on getting around New Zealand and accommodation options before and after your charter, enabling you to make the best possible use of your time in this premier travel destination, including connections to/from your charter boat.

Enquire Now - Click Here   or view our bareboats and crewed yachts.

The Sail Connections Guarantee

One contact - every option - advice you can trust.

  • Matching any competitive offer 
  • Sourcing boats with discounts available
  • Personalising our proposal just for you
  • Qualifying the operator as well as the boat
  • Advising without bias based on 25+ years of experience

We will match any discount website offer on charter boat price, and still provide our customary high level of service. We do more than just book yachts!

Read our free charter guide for all you need to know about planning your sailing holiday.

Yachts in the Marlborough Sounds

Oceanis 40
Oceanis 40 - 40' (12.2m) 6 Guests

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