Welcome to scenic Picton and the surrounding beautiful Marlborough province!
Home to some of New Zealand’s most serene farmland, lush countryside and sparkling waters, the township of Picton is located at the head of Queen Charlotte Sound and is a renowned tourist destination as well as the gateway to the spectacular South Island.
The bustling port of Picton is used for numerous ferry crossings between the North and South Islands and is situated at the head of the picturesque Queen Charlotte Sound. The Blue Bridge and Interislander ferries operate daily for the transportation of passengers and vehicles wanting to cross between Wellington and the mainland.
The first Europeans to settle in Marlborough were whalers in the early 1820’s. Today Picton serves as a thriving tourism destination and is the hub for Marlborough Sounds fishing and aquaculture. The charming village is nestled on an attractive foreshore and offers enjoyable activities ranging from fishing, dolphin and seal watching, to award winning Eco tours, mountain biking, kayaking and short walks.
The township boasts a good selection of arts, crafts and souvenirs plus a wide choice of accommodation, waterfront cafes and fine restaurants with delicious seafood to satisfy the discerning traveller. For a more relaxed experience grab a picnic bench under the palm trees and dine on local fresh fish ‘n’ chips as you enjoy the splendid views up the harbour.
The unspoiled deep waters of Queen Charlotte Sound offer a breathtaking playground for all manners of water sports and activities and Picton is an open door to a whole new experience of unspoiled nature found in the Sounds. Indulge in magical hideaways and private bays that can only be reached by water-taxi or spend time experiencing the natural rugged beauty of the shoreline. Launches, yachts, powerboats and sea kayaks can be chartered or hired, and fishing, diving and scenic trips are available while water taxi services run on demand.
Travel by boat to Endeavor Inlet and historic Ship Cove – Captain Cook’s favourite base on his journey discovering New Zealand, the famous 67 km Queen Charlotte walking track also commences from this point and ends at Anakiwa, near Picton.
Travel 28kms south of Picton onto Blenheim – the sunshine capital of New Zealand. Marlborough’s character is defined through this delightful town which combines quaint shops and cafes with world famous restaurants, award winning wines, cuisine and highly acclaimed wineries.
Being New Zealand’s most famous and largest wine region and host to the world famous Wine & Food Festival held in February, this sunny province creates a festive atmosphere with its friendly locals and vast array of attractions.
Marlborough abounds with beautiful wineries offering both large and boutique wineries but also offers much more to the traveller keen to taste the local gourmet delights. For a change of pace from grapes you can step into an English style country pub and delight in locally brewed natural beers and cider or sweeten your tastebuds with the liquors and chocolate delights on offer at the Prenzels Distillery.
The Taylor River flows through the Blenheim town offering numerous water sports and activities. The Wairau River is a popular recreational focus for trout fishing; the swift upper reaches are ideal for kayaking and rafting.
Mt Richmond Forest Park offers hiking treks while a leisurely drive around the Wairau Valley provides an attractive view of New Zealand’s farming, country pubs and horticulture country, set against a backdrop of forest clad mountains.
Marlborough accommodates most tourist requirements – including the ski bunnies! Located above the scenic upper Wairau Valley is an easily assessable and uniquely sheltered ski field. Rainbow Ski Area is 90 minutes from Blenheim or Nelson and is open from mid June to mid October. The wide variety of terrain is suitable for skiers and snowboarders of all levels.