Visit Havelock, Marlborough, NZ

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  • Havelock, at the head of Pelorus Sound, is known as the green-lipped mussel capital of New Zealand, in recognition of its place within the aquaculture industry. Boat tours of mussel farms are a popular activity for visitors.

    Fishing charters and sea kayaking are also popular, which offer the chance to see seals, dolphins, whales and penguins.

    Land-based tours include nature reserves and areas of archaeological interest.

    Accommodation in Havelock (NZ)

    Havelock has a good range of holiday accommodation, which includes hotels, motels and bed & breakfast establishments.

    Eco-resorts and luxury lodges are located near Havelock and at islands and coves within the Sounds.

    Camping and back-packing are catered for at a holiday park.

    Holiday homes are available to rent.

    Transport around Havelock

    Havelock is about 30 minutes by road from Picton, 35 minutes from Blenheim and 60 minutes from Nelson. Queen Charlotte Drive is the most direct route but is a slow journey, due to the tight and twisting nature of the road. It may be quicker to travel along State Highway 1 south to Blenheim, and then drive west and north along State Highway 6.

    Picton, Blenheim and Nelson each have airports which receive flights from Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch.  The main trunk railway line runs south from Picton, through Blenheim.

    Inter-city and local bus services provide transport between towns in the region. Shuttle services to and from specific locations, such as the starts of walking or mountain biking trails, are easily arranged. Taxis are also available.

    Water taxi services can take visitors to hiking locations or resorts within and around the Sounds. Mountain bikes can be hired for convenient transport around the town of Blenheim.

    Tourist Activities around Havelock

    Cruising in the Pelorus and Kenepuru Sounds is very popular, and a number of cruises operate from Havelock. Nature cruises focus on sighting seals, whales, dolphins, penguins and marine birdlife. Fishing charters are also available.

    Havelock offers a mussel farm tours to show how the shellfish is farmed and to sample seafood and local wine.

    The Tui Nature Reserve has a collection of rare native forest geckos and other reptiles, as well as many native bird species, including the kakariki, or native parakeet.

    Sea kayaking is popular in the sheltered waters of the Marlborough Sounds. Boats can be hired, or travellers can join a guided tour, of one or more days. There are campsites at bays and islands around Pelorus Sound.

    Many prehistoric artefacts and archaeological sites have been located in the Marlborough Sounds region. The Shark Nett Maori cultural centre has information on the area’s prehistory.

    A novel taxidermy museum features birds, fish and dolphins in lifelike display.

    • Scroll down for Havelock accommodation & activity listings