My name is Pete, myself, wife Takutai and son Tane run Myths &
Legends Eco-Tours in the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand. We are
a Maori Family who operate personalized Eco-Tours on a 75 yr old
Kauri planked classic launch called “Tutanekai” that
has a character and charm that makes people feel comfortable and
We visit remote bays & inlets far from the usual tourist beat,
using local knowledge we visit dolphins, seals, bird colonies a
shipwreck, Island bird Sanctuary, Wildlife Sanctuary, Derelict Whaling
Station, Captain Cooks Monument, (the lonely Planet have stated that Ship cove is so beautiful that it is one of the 6 must see tourism destinations in the world) & Guided Bush walks through
Our cruise is very educational, an opportunity for tourists to interact
with Maori, learn about our culture, our history, & learn about
the Maori world view regarding the environment.
Our kaupapa is to keep the lost art of story telling alive, the
old people say that stories stimulate dreams & if we lose the
ability to dream our spirits will die. We connect with people at
spirit level, one lady told us that our stories had left footprints
on her heart !
We can introduce you to friends of ours that live in remote bays,
it is often the meeting of these interesting characters that leave
Have a beachcomb, a paddle or swim at a secluded beach & relax
& unwind. If you are travel weary Takutai will put soft cushions
under you, wrap you in a warm duvet, and let the ocean waves rock
you off to sleep. This is pure relaxation.
One of the great attributes of the Marlborough Sounds is that it
is a sheltered inland waterway, so for those of you who worry about
seasickness, Don’t. Nobody has ever been seasick on our trips
inside the Sounds. If chilly,Takutai will serve up some homemade
soup & make some hot Maori bread. If the tides are right,she
will gather you some green lipped mussels off the rocks or get you
to wade out and collect some cockles, which go down well with a
bottle of Marlborough Wine.
Our favorite option is a 2 day overnight charter with an overnight stay at our friend Neville's Ruapara Turangawaewae Homestead on the remote and isolated Arapawa Island, it is an ancestral home that shows the spiritual conection that Maori have with the land. The homestead has a warm inviting atmosphere with a character and charm not found anywhere else in NZ.
Neville is descended from a Rangatira, chiefly line, a man of quiet dignity, with a twinkle in his eye, his wife Gay is a wonderful hostess.
Don’t sit on a cruise with 50 or more people and be treated
like sheep, experience our manakitanga (Maori hospitality, ) we
often take charters for 2 people !
Conversely the Tutanekai is flush decked with wide walk around decks, bulwarks with safety rails, safe for children and young families. Takutai will tuck babies and older folk into a cosy bed for a sleep, with a hot water bottle if they are tired.
Our cruises are very personalized, our guests often say that they
travel the whole country and see Maori people, but until they meet
Takutai they never had a chance to talk with them, ask questions
and learn first hand about our culture and history.
Our kaupapa ( ideals) are to foster kaitiakitanga, ( Guardianship
of the environment, ) encouraging people to take ownership and responsibility
for it, not just here but where ever you live & to regard yourselves
as true "Citizens of The World."
Noho Ora Mai,
Pete, Takutai & Tane.
(See map of
Please browse this site and choose one of our many options.
“This was one of the many excursions
we undertook during our wonderful three weeks in NZ. For interest
once back in cold, dark Scotland we all voted for the best trip/outing
we had and your trip on the 30th Dec was the only one given 10/10
by all four of us. This made it undoubtedly the highlight of our
stay. Once again many thanks……..with every good wish
Ian, Margaret, Catherine and Linda (Scotland)
Pete & Takutai,
I just wanted to personally thank you for the tour of the sounds. The scenery and wildlife of the sounds is simply stunning. However, one expects to see these things. What one does not expect is to get such a wonderful array of Maori, European and Ecological history and culture of the area set forward in such a personal way.
Takutai, your extra effort and interest in me personally and in my interest in Maori martial arts was the highlight of the trip. Your generosity in setting me up with Reg was singular.
I really do miss you.
Pete, you and I will meet again and spend some more time together, perhaps over a cold one.
Let’s keep in touch, at least once in a while, and I’ll see you on my return.
Pete & Takutai
Ph/Fax: +64 3 573 6901
Cellular: +64 275 404 407
Myths and Legends Ecotours Marlborough also run school educational
Check out www.ecoschoolcruises.co.nz
Articles recommending Myths and Legends
Ecotours have been featured in :
Condé Nast Traveller
Tourism New Zealand News
New Zealand Life and Leisure
"The 42 feet ship “Tutanekai” leads you to the sea. While the Skipper, Pete, talks about the Maori tradition and stories about the sea, Tutanekai progresses through the Picton Bay. Takutai, Pete’s Maori wife, finds seals and dolphins for us.
We land at the Ship’s Cove where Captain Cook used to land many times in the past. We wonder around the cove thinking what it was like in those days, and in no time Takutai treats us to her excellent home-made lunch. After lunch we hop on to the ship and cruise by an island where you hear nothing else but birds singing.
Weather permitting, you can forget about time and just relax having a tranquil and unhurried time which is a true recreation. Particularly listening to Pete’s very knowlegeable talks that show his gentleness, together with Takutai’s bright and friendly manner, you can forget about the weariness of your travel, and feel very refreshed. That is a wonderful gift to you from the couple.
Lastly what we must not forget is the 77 years old ship Tutanekai. When you learn the history of this ship lovingly restored by Pete, I am sure you will feel full of love
towards this ship which looks plain and ordinary . I wish her to celebrate the 100th birthday in future.
It would be an advantage if one of the members of your group can speak English."