Marlborough Sounds
The Marlborough Sounds are caused by the downward dipping mountains of the northern Southern Alps. There are many inlets and capes, and the depth of the water is quite substantial even close in to the shore. There are two main Sounds, the larger Pelorus Sound which has Havelock as its main town . It is less populated than the smaller Queen Charlotte Sound which has Picton at its head. The main ferry service between the two islands uses the Tory Channel entrance in Queen Charlotte Sound to link Wellington with Picton.
Picton is a good central base if you wish to take launch trips down the Sounds. Boats go most days from the wharves near Oxleys Hotel (on right) and the 'mail run' or the 'cream run' would allow you to see the Sounds well. Fishing trips are also available as are eco trip to see sea birds and dolphins.
The photo of Oxleys Hotel on the right shows a good blending of the old and the new, with the old facade of the hotel fronting the new hotel recently built.
oxleys
macmanawaybay Much of the Sounds is like the bay on the left. Houses, baches ( houses used for holidays; not permanently lived in ) and lodges ( hotels) occupy many of the little bays with access to the sea. Many places are only accessible by sea and this adds to the peace and tranquility of the area.
The water itself is a source of aquaculture, with a large number of mussels rafts and salmoin farms having been established in the last couple of decades. Havelock claims to be the 'green-lipped mussel capital of the world' and many bays, especially in Pelorus Sound support mussel farming.
On the right is a photo of a salmon farm with a small structure on the left for the workers and a boat tied up on the right. This one is in Tory Channel and you would pass this on your way between the two islands.
salmon farm
qc track Walking the Queen Charlotte Track is a very popular activity. Many people walk the full track ( four days) with stays overnight in lodges on the way. Other take a launch and only part of the track  having arranged for the launch to pick them up and take them back to Picton.
Holiday Homes. There are a variety of holiday homes available for rental. A week in one of these would be an excellent mini holiday. Look up www.holidayhomes or  holiday houses for further information  or try Marlborough Sounds. off Long Island
Out towards the open sea. It is possible to hire a yacht (and its skipper) if you want some time on the water.