One of the world’s rarest seabirds, the king shag, is found only in the outer Marlborough Sounds including the French Pass area.
Blue penguins, gannets, white fronted terns, petrels, mollymawks and shearwaters can all be seen in these semi-sheltered waters. While kaka, bellbird, tui, bush robin, pigeon and yellow crowned parakeet may be spotted in the bush.
The rapid, swirling waters of French Pass are a gateway for marine mammals to venture into the Sounds. Four species of dolphins – bottlenose, dusky, common and orca – travel through French Pass; whales occasionally visit and the NZ fur seal can be seen year round.