Is Boating New Zealand’s favourite recreational activity?

Early Morning on a Bluebridge Ferry

If there’s one thing New Zealand has a long history with, it’s boats. From the early migrations of the Polynesians who reached the south-west corner of the Pacific between 1250 to 1300 AD, to famous people like Able Tasman and James Cook, New Zealanders do seem to enjoy boats. In fact, boating is New Zealand’s largest recreational activity with 1.9 million people participating in boating activities each year and it being a $2.9 billion dollar industry. According to 2023 statistics, there are more than 1,540,000 boats in New Zealand with an annual growth of an estimated 45,000 vessels per year. That’s not bad for a tiny nation in the south-west corner of the Pacific.

The Marlborough Sounds & Bluebridge

The Marlborough Sounds and Bluebridge – Buy 

The peace and tranquillity of the Marlborough Sounds. It’s home to over 200 species of fish and three different types of sea mammals. It has several predator free islands to protect endangered species like the kakapo, tuatara, and giant weta and since 1962 it has been the main route for inter-island ferries travelling between Picton and Wellington.

The Marlborough Sounds & Bluebridge Ferry

The Marlborough Sounds Buy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

In a state that was surprisingly bright and fresh for 5:30am, I completed my morning ablutions without incident. A feat that I was rather proud of considering I hadn’t yet awoken my internal systems with coffee. Then, ensuring to leave my accommodation key in the designated spot for housekeeping to find later, I quietly slipped out into Piction’s fresh morning air heading for the ferry terminal, the Marlborough Sounds and later Wellington aboard a Bluebridge Ferry.