Experience the beautiful settings where magnificent Paua Pearls are raised, cultivated and made into art!
Paua Pearl Farm Tour
What to Expect
Depart Picton and cruise through the Queen Charlotte Sound, a myriad of waterways and tranquil bays whilst enjoying commentary from your friendly skipper and guide. Our destination, approximately one hour by boat, is Whekenui Bay on Arapawa Island, a small island of 75km² (29 square miles) flanked by Queen Charlotte Sound, Tory Channel, and the Cook Strait. From the late 1820’s until the mid 1960’s Arapawa Island was a whaling base in the Marlborough Sounds. The whaling industry has long since been abandoned and has given way to salmon, mussel, and oyster farms which we will pass as we travel out to Whekenui Bay, home to the Radon family.
On arrival, you will be greeted by Mike and Antonia Radon, the owners of Arapawa Seafarms, where the unique Blue Pearl or Paua Pearls are grown. They will personally guide you on a tour of the farm, which is not only a place of work but also their home. Discover how the Blue Pearl came to be and see how they are produced. Depending on the time of year, it’s possible to see paua of all sizes, from dust-specs in a larval rearing tank to full-size paua with pearl inserts. Don’t miss this opportunity to glimpse a unique part of New Zealand marine life and spend time with experts in the paua industry. Tour takes approximately 1 hour.
Once you have finished your tour you can view the rare and exclusive pearls in custom made jewellery handmade by local jewelers, the only place in the world where you can buy these unique pearls. Venture up to the Radon homestead, where you will be served light refreshments before heading back to Picton.
Please note there must be a minimum of 4 pax for this cruise to operate or pay the difference.
- Please ensure that you have checked in at least 30 minutes prior to the departure time.
- You must exchange your voucher or online booking for a ticket and check-in at the booking office.
- Child prices are from 5-14 years inclusive, infants travel free of charge will an adult.
- We reserve the right to amend timetables and departure times, cancel departures, and alter ticket prices without prior notification due to unforeseen circumstances.
- Due to circumstances beyond our control, cruise routes and tour return times may alter from advertised however you will still be provided with the full commentary and full tour experience.
- If you have a medical condition that may affect your enjoyment or comfort of any of our transport or tours then please do advise staff prior to boarding.
- Please ensure that your luggage is secure and waterproof, we do not transport items in plastic bin bags or supermarket shopping plastic bags. No shoes or items hanging on the outside, tents and sleeping mats must be transported separately if it does not fit in your bag.
- There is an additional $5 per person fee if you wish to disembark at the Resolution Bay wharf as it is private property payable direct to the landowners, this fee is not included in our products.
- Bookings cancelled within 48 hours of the departure time incurs a 100% cancellation fee. Booking cancelled outside of this incurs a 10% cancellation fee.
- If the weather is too extreme for us to sail and you cannot make an alternative sailing then we will provide you with a full refund in the method that you originally booked. We do not provide refunds due to the weather being unfavourable - ie raining. Or weather conditions changing on board. If you have concerns about the weather then please advise our reservations staff prior to boarding for an alternative option.
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