The village of Havelock is found a short drive from Blenheim, Picton or Nelson. The area around Havelock has been popular with Maori fishing and hunting parties, coastal whalers, fishermen, farmers, miners and saw millers in its history.

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Havelock: Pelorus and Kenepuru Sounds

Today, Havelock is best known as the Greenshell Mussel Capital of the World. These delicious shellfish are responsible for a thriving local aquaculture industry in the cool, deep waters of Pelorus and Kenepuru Sounds. Every year in March, Havelock hosts its annual mussel festival, a day out for the whole family where you can enjoy a variety of tasty dishes created with this popular local delicacy.


Havelock is the perfect starting point for exploring the beautiful Kenepuru and Pelorus Sounds and the smaller Mahau Sound. The area offers a number of scenic cruises and eco tours: if you are a seafood lover then a fishing charter where a dinner of snapper is on the menu or a Greenshell Mussel cruise are sure to satisfy you. 
For a very hands-on experience, take a day or two learning to sail onboard a traditional wooden sailboat. Landlubbers may prefer walking or mountain biking the Nydia Track through two days of secluded native forest.

Whether travelling on land or water, by motor, wind or under your own steam, keep an eye out for the local marine life: penguins, and seals as well as shags and a variety of other sea birds. You may even spot some local wild dolphins or killer whales (orca) along the way.


Should you wish to make Havelock you base for a few days, there are a number of local guest houses and holiday lets here as well as a motel or two. Or take yourself away to the tranquillity of Kenepuru, Pelorus and Mahau where you can stay in one of the many idyllic bed and breakfasts, luxury lodges or camping grounds dotted about the water’s edge in a secluded bay or charter a launch and be rocked to sleep by the gentle lap of the water.

A little further afield

West of Havelock on the border of Marlborough you will find the Pelorus River and Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve, famous for fly fishing and where you will find numerous secluded picnic spots amongst the native forest. On a hot day, you can cool down with a refreshing dip in one of the river’s many swimming holes.

Discover the untamed nature of d’Urville Island, among the outermost islands in the Marlborough Sounds. Watch the outflowing water as it rushes through, circling around the central lighthouse on the rock before joining the turbulent waters of the Tasman Sea. Or take a trip by car or boat to Tennyson Inlet or French Pass for the day, and soak up the history along with all the natural wonders that are to be found in the Marlborough Sounds.