This is very shallow bay and dries out at low tide. Deep draft vessels should keep well clear of the north shore and should exercise care if approaching the wharf.

Walkers of the Queen Charlotte Track finish here and often catch water taxis from the wharf, making this a very busy and popular bay.

A dredged channel exists for vessels going in and out of the Outward Bound wharf at low tide. It is marked by two white triangle marks. These two marks must be aligned to be in the narrow channel. One is on the foreshore to the west of the wharf (triangle pointing up)  and the other is across the road in the Outward bound grounds (triangle pointing down). The channel runs at approx. 45 degrees from the wharf in a south east direction. It is also lighted by aligning lights on the wharf and the back triangle marker.





Facility photos

QCS AnakiwaBay ToiletBlock 02 QCS AnakiwaBay BoatRamp 03 QCS AnakiwaBay Swimming 09

Videos / other media


The origins of Anakiwa’s name are uncertain but it is likely the name means, Kiwa’s cave. [1] The bay is also known as Thompsons Bay.

The original Māori inhabitants of Anakiwa were Ngāti Rāhiri. Today, other hapū of Te Ātiawa have manawhenua (authority over the land) in the bay.[2]

By the close of the nineteenth century, Anakiwa was a small but bustling settlement. During the 1860s, timber milling was the local industry as land was cleared for agriculture. Farms brought settlers and families to the bay and a school was soon established. In the late 1880s the Mahakipawa gold rush brought a lot of activity to the bay as miners used Anakiwa and surrounding bays as access points to Havelock and the gold mining town, Cullensville.[3]

Arthur and Cradock Beauchamp were issued land in Anakiwa by crown grant in the 1860s. Cradock and his wife, Harriett farmed there until the early 1900s when their son, Herbert took over. In the 1920s the family built a guesthouse, the Anakiwa Homestead. It was a popular and lively destination with travellers for several decades.

Aerial image of Anakiwa Homestead Guesthouse and jetty.

Anakiwa Homestead Guesthouse and wharf. Date unknown.

Courtesy, Picton Historical Society

Cradock Beauchamp was the great uncle of New Zealand writer, Katherine Mansfield, who visited Anakiwa with her family. Katherine’s experiences in the Marlborough Sounds are evident in several of her stories.[4]

In 1962 the Anakiwa Homestead Guesthouse was sold to the Outward Bound Trust and the school officially opened later that year. It initially operated from the homestead building and it was not until 1980 that the original buildings were replaced.[5] Today all that remains of the original Beauchamp buildings are plantings of mature English trees.

At present there are approximately 140 private dwellings in the bay, excluding the Outward Bound School complex. The permanent population of the bay is unknown but increases dramatically in the summer months with visitors.[6]

[1] H. A. H. Insull, Marlborough Place Names (Wellington, A. H. & A. W. Reed, 1952) p24.

[2] “Organisation and Governance: Outward Bound at Anakiwa,”, Outward Bound, accessed January 9, 2018,

[3] Loreen Brehaut, The Grove Arm of Queen Charlotte Sound (Picton, Picton Historical Society, 2012) p17.

[4] “Katherine Mansfield – Anakiwa,”, the Top of the South Branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors, accessed January 9 2017

[5] “Outward Bound at Anakiwa."

[6] “Anakiwa, New Zealand,” Wikipedia, accessed January 9, 2018,,_New_Zealand

Very popular
Shelter from the North, can get gusty
Type of beach
Mud / Sand
Finish location of the Queen Charlotte Sound, Swimming platform
Rocks/reef/sand bank warnings
There is a dug trench by the wharf, caution should be taken by deep draft boats as either side is very shallow, there are two white triangles on the shore that can be lined up for safe passage