Experience the beautiful settings where magnificent Paua Pearls are raised, cultivated and made into art!
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.