Pelorus Sound

Recent Waitangi Treaty settlements record this sound as a dual name; Pelorus Sound / Te Hoiere

It has a shoreline of 380km and was named after the nautical instrument used on sailing ships and the HMS Pelorus which undertook the first survey of the sound in 1838 under the command of Philip Chetwode.

Pelorus Sound's main channel winds south from Cook Strait for about 55 kilometres. It is aligned roughly north to South from its seaward beginning at Kaitira (east entry point) and Te Akaroa (west entry point) to Havelock at its head.

Pelorus has several major arms including Tennyson Inlet, Tawhitinui Reach, Keneperu Sound and the Crail/Clova/Beatrix Bay complex.

In the 1860s, timber mills were set up in the Pelorus sound and native timber from thearea was transported around New Zealand and to Australia. Later, these timber camps gave way to sheep and dairy farming.

In 1888 a dolphin appeared in the sound that would escort boats to and from the French Pass. It became known famously as Pelorus Jack.

Today, marine farming is the primary industry that occupies the Marlborough Sounds. Marlborough marine farmers grow approximately 80 per cent of the marine products farmed in New Zealand, including Greenshell mussels, salmon, oysters, paua and seaweeds.*

Alongside marine farming is the exotic pine plantations that surround the Marlborough Sounds, which were established in the 1970s. Timber is moved from a deep-water berth at Shakespeare Bay, Picton, to the timber yard at the western side of Picton Harbour.