Cruising from Picton through the Marlborough Sounds and right out to our stop for the day, Ship Cove I couldn’t help being excited about reaching this little slice of paradise.
Ship Cove is a reasonable way out, so depending on the water taxi or cruise you book you can expect it to take an hour or two to reach. During this time sit back, relax and revel in the scenery en route!
We chose to book the Cougar Lines Ship Cove day trip and couldn’t fault the on board service. Priced reasonably at $85 for an adult departing Picton at 9am and being picked from Ship Cove at 4pm you can expect this to be a long day out on the water.
Ship Cove was named by Captain Cook, and was a favourite stop of his in New Zealand. He returned an additional 4 times during future visits to New Zealand.
On the foreshore there is a memorial for Captain Cook which also displays interesting facts to read.
There’s plenty to do here to fill in the day! We spent quite a while making friends with the Weka. Weka are a less famous flightless bird than the kiwi. But boy oh boy are they cute! Be warned they will want to steal your lunch! Haha.
There are toilet and picnic facilities available at Ship Cove. We opted to pack a picnic lunch of sandwiches, fruit, plenty of water and some chocolate for afternoon treats.
Before lunch you might like to make the gentle 30 minute walk along the Waterfall track. This is where Captain Cook would clean and wash during his visits to Ship Cove.
If you are up for a much longer walk Ship Cove makes up the starting point of the Queen Charlotte Track, one of New Zealand’s great walks. The Queen Charlotte Track is 70km in length and takes about 3-5 days to walk.
Most hikers take some time to explore Ship Cove before setting off.
Did I mention that Ship Cove is accessible only by boat, there are no roads in or out and it will never be too crowded during your visit!
There are no camping facilities here so you’ll want to make the most of your day trip.
If hiking isn’t your thing, but you’d like to reconnect with nature and interact with the native wildlife I cannot highly enough recommend a visit to Ship Cove. There’s the added bonus of cruising through the ever beautiful Marlborough Sounds as well!
I’m sure this is a visit you won’t regret. Happy cruising!