• Personalised Eco-Cruises in the Beautiful Sheltered Waterways of the Queen Charlotte Sounds in Picton, New Zealand.

    (NOTE: Maori Eco-Cruises was formerly known as Myths & Legends Eco-Tours)

  • Don't sit on a cruise with 50 or more people and be treated like sheep,
    Experience our manakitanga (Maori hospitality)!

    Ours are not shared trips, they are all personalized charters.
    You will have the Tutanekai and 2 experienced guides all to yourselves.
    We often take trips for just 2 people.

  • Tena koutou,

    My wife ( Takutai ) and I ( Pete ) run Maori Eco-Cruises  ( formerly Myths and Legends Eco-Tours ) in Totaranui ( Queen Charlotte Sounds ) for over 20 years.

    Come and enjoy our eco-tours on the nearly 90-yr old Kauri planked classic launch "Tutanekai". It is the second oldest vessel in New Zealand to have been in continuous survey. He ( not she ) has a character and charm that makes guests feel comfortable and relaxed.

    My family, originally from England / Ireland, have lived in the Sounds for 7 generations, Takutai's have lived here for over 20 generations. Our whanau is an interesting blend of two cultures and our respective family histories reflect the effects of colonization.

    You will find our eco-cruises to be very educational - an opportunity for tourists to interact with Maori, to learn about our culture, our history, and about the Maori world view regarding the environment.

    Our kaupapa is to keep the lost art of story telling alive. The old people say that stories stimulate dreams and if we lose the ability to dream our spirits will die. We connect with people at a spirit level.

    The Tutanekai is an ideal photograph platform with full walk around decks plus lift-up side curtains if weather is inclement.

    We usually first go in search of the little Hector Dolphins, smallest dolphins in the world, only found in NZ. At different times we encounter Orca, Bottlenose, Duskies, and Hectors as well as little Blue Penquins, Seals, and a whole raft of sea birds.

    We can tailor our eco-cruises so that you can visit island bird sanctuaries, bird colonies, catchment of virgin bush with magnificent 2000-yr old trees that were standing at the birth of Christ, a derelict shore-based Whaling Station, remains of Sunken Sailing Ship, and sites of historical significance like Captain Cooks Monument at Ship Cove and Maori Pa site.

    Takutai will also guide you on bush walks through native forests and island bird sanctuaries, home to some of New Zealand's most endangered birds while sharing with you her knowledge of Maori bush lore and rongoa ( Maori medicines ).

  • Tutanekai

    "The 42 feet ship “Tutanekai” leads you to the sea. While the Skipper, Pete, talks about the Maori tradition and stories about the sea, Tutanekai progresses through the Picton Bay.

    Takutai, Pete’s Maori wife, finds seals and dolphins for us.

    We land at the Ship’s Cove where Captain Cook used to land many times in the past. We wonder around the cove thinking what it was like in those days, and in no time Takutai treats us to her excellent home-made lunch.

    After lunch we hop on to the ship and cruise by an island where you hear nothing else but birds singing.

    Weather permitting, you can forget about time and just relax having a tranquil and unhurried time which is a true recreation.

    Particularly listening to Pete’s very knowlegeable talks that show his gentleness, together with Takutai’s bright and friendly manner, you can forget about the weariness of your travel, and feel very refreshed. That is a wonderful gift to you from the couple.

    Lastly what we must not forget is the 90 years old ship Tutanekai. When you learn the history of this ship lovingly restored by Pete, I am sure you will feel full of love towards this ship which looks plain and ordinary.

    I wish her to celebrate the 100th birthday in future.

    It would be an advantage if one of the members of your group can speak English."

    Akira Fukuchi

  • Rest assured that with us you will be well-treated! If you are travel-weary, Takutai will put soft cushions under you, wrap you in a warm duvet, and let the ocean waves rock you off to sleep. This is pure relaxation.

    If chilly, Takutai will serve up some homemade soup and make some hot Maori bread. If the tides are right, she will gather you some green lipped mussels off the rocks or get you to wade out and collect some cockles, which go down well with a bottle of Marlborough Wine.

    One of the great attributes of the Marlborough Sounds is that it is a sheltered inland waterway. No matter what the conditions we can always find a lee shore.

    Have a bush walk on the island bird sanctuaries, a beachcomb, a paddle or swim at a secluded beach and relax and unwind.

    For those of you who worry about seasickness... don't. Nobody has ever been seasick on our trips inside the Sounds!

  • Dolphin Watching is a favourite among young and old alike.

    Check out this collection of video clips we've gathered over the years.

    Other options for your eco-cruise includes:

    • Bird Watching.
    • Wildlife Exploring.
    • Going on Bush Walks.

     

    Get More Details

  • Highlight of our stay


    This was one of the many excursions we undertook during our wonderful three weeks in NZ. For interest once back in cold, dark Scotland we all voted for the best trip/outing we had and your trip on the 30th Dec was the only one given 10/10 by all four of us. This made it undoubtedly the highlight of our stay.

    Once again many thanks……..with every good wish yours sincerely.

    Ian, Margaret, Catherine and Linda (Scotland)

  • Keep the old stories alive


    It was a wonderful day to meet you… It is so important for people to stand tall to hold the mauri of the waters of the Marlborough Sounds and keep the old stories alive of the land.

    Kia kaha you are true guardians of the legacy left by the ancestors.

    Arohanui Barry (Canterbury, NZ)

  • Magical day


    We really did enjoy our day trip out with you into the sounds and to the two islands…a very memorable part of our holiday to NZ.

    Thankyou once again for a magical day and more power to your elbow in trying to maintain and improve the Sounds our very best.

    David and Caroline (England)

  • Takutai and Peter


    THANK YOU!
    For your warm hospitality a most incredible tour of the Sounds, and for us. For me, being with you for three days accomplished the last and maybe most important goal of this trip; really get to know some local people. Touring didn't allow us to do that.

    I will take home the adventures of the past three days, and the story of Takutai and Pete, as well as the story of Tutanekai and Hinemoa! You two are worthy of your very own legends. It's been a pleasure to meet you.

    Elizabeth

  • Fantastic tour


    I am often reminded of the fantastic tour we went on with your boat round the sounds at Picton.

    I have made an update on the Lonely Planet telling about your boat, your lovely wife Takutai (give my love) and the tours your offering. Hope they can read my English. Hope to see you again.

    Arne (Denmark)

  • Wonderful trip


    Have some nice pics of last June when you took me out for such a wonderful trip in the Sound.

    Still “wow” memories that I really keep enjoying.

    Carol (USA)

  • Wonderful


    The Beeches are absolutely awesome people!!! We learned so much from them – they truly are wonderful people!!! The Sound experience has been a highlight!!!

    The Sound experience has been a highlight!!!

    Sincerely,

    Debbie (USA)

  • Fascinating history


    Yours is a unique service. We have taken many tours over the years, most of them on water, here in New Zealand. With most, you feel like a tourist; they are large group experiences. With you it is different. It is a day with new friends.

    Your boat has it's own fascinating history, and charm. You and Takutai offer an amazing knowledge of the Sounds, and offer it throughout the day as part of an ongoing conversation, as opposed to announcements over a PA system as is necessary with the larger group tours. Your personal connections to the Sounds history and culture is unique.

    All the best to you both, we look forward to our next encounter.

    Nick and Karen (Hudson, USA)