New Zealand Tourism

The Marlborough Sounds, a clean, green paradise of bush and sea full of natural beauty history and wild life all waiting to be explored and experienced with the Sounds specialist – Dolphin Watch Ecotours. Dolphin Watch Ecotours know every island and bay in magnificent Queen Charlotte Sounds and they know where the wildlife is, on land or sea. Marine biologists Dan and Amy lead a highly qualified conservation line of team that will take you where the action is on the purpose built vessels… Peaceful, clear waters, pristine native forests, seals, dolphins and passing whales, rare and cheeky native birds all set against the background of breathtaking natural beauty.


All of our eco tours begin with a scenic cruise through the majestic Marlborough Sounds among the dolphins, the seals and the seabirds that call this place home. Dolphin Watch Ecotours is fully licensed by New Zealand’s department of conservation and is the only major daily operator that is allowed to effectively search for dolphins and seals. We’ll find them for you or they’ll find us. Along the way you’ll witness conservation research in action a role that has won our company recognition and numerous and numerous environmental awards.

Motuara island is a bush clad bird century home of the rare south island saddle back. As you stroll the trek without a knowledgeable guide you’ll hear the chores of a thousand birds and enjoy the company of native pigeons, bell-birds, blue penguins and cheeky robins. The Motuara walk takes you to the top of the island for truly spectacular views of the Sounds and Cook Strait right across to the North Island. Ship cove is a pristine sheltered bay rich in history. Captain James Cook brought his ship three times in the 18th century and stayed for months. You will want to stay too. It is pure New Zealand at its very best. Ship Cove is also the starting point for the world famous Queen Charlotte Track. You can walk just an hour or two through the native ferns and the resident bird life. You can make a full day of it or you can travel the whole track over several days. We’ll get you there, transport your packs and bring you back enjoying a scenic wild-life cruise along the way. The Sounds are filled with birds, on land and sea including a number of rare species. The bird watchers’ cruise takes you to them, hiding host clinches, blue penguins and other sea-birds. Then join the bell-birds, saddle backs and robins as they enjoy the sanctuary of Motuara islands. But to get really close to nature at its very best, put on a wetsuit and have an awesome experience right among these beautiful aquatic mammals. Just bring your swimsuit we provide the wet suits and other equipment and put you right among the dolphin families of the Sounds as they go about their daily business. It’s fun, it’s safe and it’s a unique eco adventure unlike anything else. Getting out on the beautiful Marlborough Sounds gets you to a truly special part of our planet. It’s clean, green nature at its best. Beautiful, historic, inspiring and majestic. So come aboard for enjoyment, excitement and relaxation with the Marlborough Sounds wildlife experts – Dan, Amy and Dolphin Watch Ecotours.