Waikawa Marina

Waikawa Marina, the third-largest floating marina in New Zealand, is located in the south-western end of Waikawa Bay, Picton.

It is operated by Port Marlborough and provides over 600 berths, all with power and water. Toilets and adequate parking are available, with showers accessible at the Waikawa Boating Club premises.

There is a chandlery, sail maker, dive shop, boat sales and charter companies, restaurants, marine repair shops, travel lift and trailer boat launching ramp adjacent to the marina. 

The bay is open to most winds but only N and NW winds send a sea into the head of the bay. 


The marine pest Styela clava  (clubbed tunicate) is known to be established. Ensure your hull is maintained to no more than a slime layer when arriving and/or departing to reduce risk of further marine pest spread into and around the Sounds.

Facility photos

MDC6591 QCS WaikawaMarina ToiletBlock 05

Videos / other media


The name, Waikawa, means bitter water.

During the Nineteenth Century it was also referred to as Milton Bay.1

As with other bays near Picton Harbour, Waikawa has a long history of human use and at least eight iwi (tribes) are associated with the area, including Te Ātiawa o Te Waka-a-Māui, Rangitāne o Wairau, Ngāti Kuia, Ngāti Apa, Ngāti Toa, Ngāti Koata, Ngāti Rarua, and Ngāti Tama.2

During the early 1960s that the concept of a launching marina in Waikawa first started to be discussed but it was not until 1988 that the development was completed.3


1. H. A. H. Insull, Marlborough Place Names, (Wellington: A. H. & A. W. Reed, 1952) 67.

2. E. Newcombe and O. Johnston, “Picton Bays Environmental Information and Health Assessment, Cawthron Report No. 2805”, accessed, July 30, 2019, http://envirolink.govt.nz/assets/Envirolink/1606-MLDC-106-Picton-Bays-Environmental-Information-and-Health-Assessment.PDF .

3. Tony Fitzgerald, It’s Our Life: The Imperfect History of the Waikawa Boating Club Inc., 1950-2017, (Blenheim: Prisma Print, 2017) 35.

Extremely popular
Mid (5-10m)
Rocks/reef/sand bank warnings
The rock shown off The Snout is about 2 metres below the surface and is 10 to 15m from the shore.
Be aware of the large number of moored boats. There is a red, white, green sector light for keeping clear of moorings at night. There is also a green light at the starboard entrance to mooring.
Greater than 20