Sounds Connection has been operating since 1993 and is privately owned by Marlborough locals Mark and Maria Baxter. And while some might say more than 20 years is an impressive stint – the connection goes back even further, as Mark’s father, and grandfather, operated a water taxi service and fishing excursions company in the Queen Charlotte Sound before him.
While Mark and Maria have a longstanding connection, and over 20 years of sharing Marlborough experiences with clients, they’re still as enthusiastic and fresh about it as the day they started. They genuinely believe Marlborough is a fabulous place to visit, stay and explore, and will never tire of sharing it with you!
As the Marlborough wine region has developed, the range and options for touring wineries and vineyards with Sounds Connection has likewise grown.
Sounds Connection is now the leading tour operator in Marlborough and has developed itineraries for the whole “Top of the South” area.
Individual and group itinerary options are delivered with a level of professionalism and experience which is second-to-none.
Sounds Connection is also the preeminent fishing charter operator in the Marlborough Sounds. It’s no exaggeration to say they know the waters of the Queen Charlotte Sound like the back of their hand – and after three generations of fishing excursions in these waters, it’s no surprise!
Sounds Connection has strong partnerships with accommodation providers and tourist attraction operators, and works collaboratively to create great tailor-made conference options. This can include anything from land tours, kayaking, fishing and cruising, to name a few. We also provide personalised options for South Island experiences.
Our fleet of vehicles is also top-class. We have luxury modern cars, mini-vans, and larger coaches (seating 20-45 people) – as well as fantastic charter boats to ensure a great trip into the waters of the Marlborough Sounds.
We pride ourselves on offering a reliable service, with knowledgeable local guides, quality vehicles and the flexibility of daily options or the choice of a bespoke tour.
Marlborough local Mark Baxter loves sharing his slice of paradise with visitors. As well as being co-owner of Sounds Connection, Mark is our experienced skipper! You might say it's in his blood as Mark’s father, and grandfather, operated a water taxi service and fishing excursions company in the Queen Charlotte Sound before him. You can often hear him say that the Sounds are some of the most beautiful waters he has fished in and "that is why we live here!”
Maria (together with husband Mark) has been sharing the magic of Marlborough with visitors since 1993. In between looking after 3 growing children, her hobbies include playing netball and enjoying the occasional glass of Marlborough wine! Maria is the Marketing Manager and Accounts Clerk of Sounds Connection. Maria is always kept busy and loves getting out on tour and showcasing the stunning Marlborough region whenever she can.
Sarah has been working alongside her twin sister Maria and her brother-in-law, Mark, for the past 25 years - moving home from England to help Maria and Mark with the building of the Sounds Connection business since day dot! Sarah is our “jack of all trades” so you will find her in the office on the end of the phone taking your bookings and enquiries. When not in the office she is usually out taking our clients on one of our many tours exploring Marlborough's finest.
Our ever-cheerful Ange Henry-Gifford is likely to be your first port of call as she can be found at the Sounds Connection office, answering your calls and email enquiries. Ange loves the people and experiences that Marlborough has to offer - and enjoys introducing this to Sounds Connection clients. When not answering calls and taking bookings, Ange can be found updating our Facebook page, working on new brochures or ordering oil for Mark’s boat!
Gabby has recently joined the Sounds Connection team from Newcastle upon Tyne. She loves to travel, being with her friends, and is especially enjoying her stint living in Picton. Gabby is the friendly voice on the end of the phone taking your bookings and answering your questions. When she’s not organising tours, Gabby keeps us up to date with Instagram.
Our team of local and experienced tour guides love showcasing the Marlborough region. Whether it’s taking clients on our range of wine tours, conference and transport requirements, transporting you to local events or private tours – these guys and girls have got it covered!
They love sharing their wealth of knowledge about the Marlborough region including the world-famous wine area, the townships of Picton, Blenheim and Havelock and, of course, the majestic Marlborough Sounds! They are ready and waiting for you to join them on a tour in their little slice of paradise today!