Pelorus Mail Boat

Phone: 03 574 1088

About the Mail Boat

Mail was first delivered to the Marlborough Sounds by Government Steamer in 1869. The Steamer initially only delivered to one location. As the population grew the steamer put the mail ashore at a number of small Post Offices throughout the area and the residents had to row to these points to pick their mail up.

In 1918 the Government decided to put the Service out to Private Operators and the Mail Run, as we do it today, was born.

In the early years most of the goods carried were farming supplies and a few tourists. These days we still take farm supplies and residents to and from their homes. In summer, we drop people at their holiday homes and we also take guests to some of the unique holiday accommodation available in the Pelorus Sound.

And of course we warmly welcome people who wish to share the day with us as we deliver the mail and help support the community of Pelorus Sound.

Mail Runs

One of the last genuine mail boats left anywhere in the world, the Pelorus Mail Boat is an iconic and fascinating look in to yesteryear (the good old days).

Our mail boat departs from the friendly little township/village of Havelock roughly half way between Picton and Nelson, or a third of the way between Blenheim and Nelson.

We deliver mail, parcels and passengers out into the beautiful Pelorus Sound three days a week. While each day has us navigating different inlets and jetties, they all showcase the stunning scenery and majestic wildlife of the Marlborough Sounds.

Each of the three mail runs include commentary on the history of the Sounds, its residents and a full Greenshell Mussel Tour (weather permitting).

Complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits are available all day.


We have a full range of vessels at our disposal suitable for any occasion or requirement.

We can take care of all your needs, from small fast access boats to group charters of 50 people and more.

Charter a boat for your event.

We specialize in group transport for weddings and parties. Also School groups, educational cruises, Marlborough Sounds scenic cruises and history cruises.

We are ideal for tramping clubs, social clubs or kayaking trip transport and mountain bike groups.

We offer a total solution package for your transport and cruise needs and can organize coach transport from Picton or Blenheim.

Popular Trips:
Maud island
Tui nature reserve
Nydia bay
The Portage
Te Rawa Resort lunch cruise
Combo trips
Hunting and Fishing trips
Evening sunset cruise
Bagpipes and wine cruise


Based in Havelock at the Head of the Pelorus Sound, The Pelorus Mail Boat is a short 25 minute drive from Blenheim.

If you are driving east from Nelson, Havelock is a 55 minute drive or a 45 minute scenic drive from Picton along the Queen Charlotte Drive.

Pelorus Mail Boat
Jetty 1, Havelock Marina

Mail Runs

  • Adults: $128
  • Children up to and including 15 yrs Free - max two per full adult fare
  • Tea and Coffee supplied
  • Bring your own lunch

“Fantastic trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 September 2015 NEW

Brilliant trip....excellent owner/Captain and Assistant....loved meeting the people on the jetty's.....thoroughly enjoyable and interesting trip....would recommend to everyone as a great day out
Visited August 2015
- YoungJude65

“The Sounds of Silence”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 30 August 2015

Jim and Bindi are personable and knowledgeable hosts on this extensive cruise of the Pelorus Sounds.
It is interesting to see how people live in these beautiful and isolated locations and to be part of a mail run that started over 100 years ago.This is certainly a "must see" item on one's holiday agenda.
PS. ignore the negative reviews [all 2 of them!] - the last time I checked wildlife is free to come and go as it pleases, not at the whim and fancy of tourists.
Visited August 2015
- GilesW

“A definite 'must do' trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 16 August 2015

Sailed on a Friday run, absolutely wouldn't have missed it! The scenery in the Sounds is superb then add on the great crew plus the dolphins, seals (and on our trip Orcas) and you have a fabulous 8 hour experience. Thank you Jim, regards Derek and Aynsley.
Visited August 2015

Keyword Tags

Cruise, Marlbough Sounds,