Generic filters
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in excerpt

French Pass & D’Urville Island, Marlborough Sounds road trip

Frequently Asked Questions

Return to Itinerary
Wooden pier during the sunset in French Pass Wooden pier during the sunset in French Pass



Ensure your vehicle is fully fuelled before starting the journey. While there are petrol depots they can be closed on the weekend.

Could a motorhome navigate French Pass?

As a SUV towing a boat achieved this feat, yes however it is very challenging and if it is a hired motorhome probably the agreement says otherwise.

Can you do the trip in a day?

Yes, if you spend 4+ hours driving on narrow winding roads. Create a backup plan in case of road delays even in the peak of summer.

D'Urville Island

How do I get from French Pass to d’Urville Island?

Yes, you are on a licensed passenger / vehicle / bike barge. Check with D’Urville Island to French Pass Barge Crossings. Taking your vehicle on the barge will allow you to drive to the DOC Camping Ground at Greville Harbour (on a 4×4 vehicle track) or to stay at the d’Urville Island Community Hall (for bookings contact Sue Savage 03 5765 170). Service providers can also travel directly to farms or families on the Island, as required. We can take mountain bikes, 4×4 bikes, trucks, trailers, small tractors and small diggers. The barge is also surveyed to carry up to 25 passengers.

Can I stay on d’Urville Island?

Yes you can. There are several options.

d’Urville Island Wilderness Resort is located in the stunning Catherine Cover, D’Urville Island. Getting there is an adventure in itself on a road that winds its way through the hills and valleys of French Pass. Although you can take the shortcut to the island and catch a boat from Havelock / Picton. The resort has a bar, restaurant so gourmet Marlborough cuisine is part of the deal of decamping to the island sanctuary. The island’s walking trails, fishing charters offer the chance to truly escape to an island in the middle of the Sounds. Perfect for couples wanting time together, families who relish the outdoors and guests who simply want to soak up the atmosphere of the great outdoors.




The island is windswept as it is within the Tory Channel and Cook Strait, a body of water between the North and South Island of New Zealand.

Camping d’Urville Island, Marlborough Sounds

Stunning, remote campsite near a surf beach with good fishing, hunting, tramping and mountain biking nearby.

Moawhitu conservation campsite: French Pass & D’Urville Island Scenic Reserves, Marlborough region

D’Urville Island

Rangitoto ki te Tonga / D’Urville Island is an island in the Marlborough Sounds along the northern coast of the South Island of New Zealand. It was named after the French explorer Jules Dumont d’Urville

D’Urville Island (New Zealand) – Wikipedia

French Pass

Is there mobile service on the croisilles – French Pass road?

Intermitmedant, expect mobile service coverage NOT to work when you need it.

Would you recommend the journey in an electric vehicle?

No, unless you check with an accommodation provider about recharging facilities beforehand. The narrow hairpin bends use more fuel power than usual.


Best Bits travel guide is published by Owned and managed by PacificJane Ltd.
Return to Itinerary


If you have a query about content, travel deals or anything else, our team is happy to answer all your questions 🙂

    Your information is secure, no third party involved.
    100% Safe, secure, privacy guaranteed. Privacy Policy.