Picton is a quaint port town nestled deep in the Marlborough Sounds. It is the main link between the South and North Islands, with scheduled ferry service over Cook Strait. Picton is also the gateway to the marine, forest and island attractions of... Show More
Tourist Information About Picton
Picton is a quaint port town nestled deep in the Marlborough Sounds. It is the main link between the South and North Islands, with scheduled ferry service over Cook Strait. Picton is also the gateway to the marine, forest and island attractions of the Marlborough Sounds. The town has an attractive seafront dotted with cafés, restaurants and various types of galleries. The calm waters of the sounds are excellent for water based activities such as kayaking or dolphin watching and the stunning vistas of the Queen Charlotte Track can be experienced on a 3 to 5 day tramp. Take one of the many Marlborough Sounds tours such as the Marlborough Sounds Mail Boat Cruise, or a dolphin or whale watching tour. There are many great things to do such as Sea Kayaking tours, Wilderness eco tours, Mountain Biking, fishing tours or hiking the Queen Charlotte Track. Great land based attractions are the Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary, Eco World Aquarium and the Heritage and Whaling Museum and the Edwin Fox Maritime Museum.
Best Attractions and free things to do in Picton
1. Heli-Fish Marlborough Sounds
The Marlborough Sounds' rocky and inaccessible shoreline is impossible to reach unless you're in a helicopter and can land on a reef! You'll be hooked if you combine flying and fishing. These skilled pilots are also avid anglers, so you'll get the most out of your stay with us. We can pick you up from heli-friendly establishments in the vicinity or drop you off at our heli-base at Nelson Airport. All necessary equipment is provided. The maximum number of passengers per helicopter is 5-6, depending on the weight of the passengers.
2. Marlborough Sounds
When traveling the ferry to the South Island, you're likely to have passed through the Marlborough Sounds. That was merely a smidgeon of it. The mountainous coastline region offers plenty of opportunities to explore in a number of ways. Take in the sights and keep an eye out for dolphins on a gorgeous boat trip or walk or bike the renowned Queen Charlotte Track. Why not take a day excursion to one of the Sounds' hidden jewels, such as Lochmara, where you can swim with stingrays, Ship Cove, where you can immerse yourself in history, or watch the local birds on the pest-free island?
3. Drive Down French Pass
If twisty gravel roads don't scare you, the French Pass Road will not disappoint! The road begins in Okiwi Bay and passes through a section of native forest before opening out to open vistas of the French Pass Peninsula and D'Urville Island. Short treks along the road will lead you to vistas with views of whirlpools and calm secluded beaches
4. Okiwi Bay
When driving through the gorgeous Rai Valley, getting to Okiwi Bay is just part of the adventure. Once you've made it over the hill, you'll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the tranquil bay. Visit the Goat Hill Track for spectacular coastline views, or rent a kayak and paddle around in the harbor. Take the picturesque drive to French Pass to extend your stay.
5. Tirohanga Track
When visiting any destination on a budget, getting some excellent views of the area is a terrific place to start. That is exactly what the Tirohanga Track offers! The 45-minute one-way climb is very steep, passing through thick native woodland, but the commanding panoramas at the summit are well worth the effort. Views of Picton, Waikawa, and the Queen Charlotte Sound are available. The course loops back onto Picton's streets, lasting around two hours.
6. The Victoria Domain
The Victoria Domain, which is accessible from the town center by crossing the marina bridge, offers more free walks. Between the 10-minute stroll to Shelly Beach and the drive to the Snout, there's much to see. Excellent vistas of Picton Harbor and Queen Charlotte Sound, the bathing beach of Bob's Bay, and a historic scow at Shelly Beach are among the domain's highlights. Come check them out for yourself!
7. See the World’s Oldest Surviving Merchant Ship
The Edwin Fox Maritime Museum is one of Picton's most inexpensive museums. You may stand behind the hull of the world's oldest surviving merchant ship, which is more than 160 years old, for less than NZ$10 per adult. At this one-of-a-kind museum, learn about the ship's rich and contentious history of transporting freight and passengers.
There are only a few locations in New Zealand in which you might experience pure nature while still being close to major tourist routes. One of these areas is Anakiwa, which is near Queen Charlotte Drive. When paddling, you may see rich subtropical rainforest in its regenerating state near to the shoreline, within arm's reach. There's enough to do with over 1500 kilometers of beachfront to explore. This activity is something you can do with anyone, and create long lasting memories!
Visit one of Marlborough's numerous educational museums to broaden your horizons. Sir Peter Jackson developed and put together some action-packed displays of planes throughout history at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre (79 Aerodrome Road, Blenheim). The Marlborough Museum (26 Arthur Baker Place, Blenheim) is another museum worth visiting if you want to learn more about the Marlborough region, from Maori history to winemaking.
10. Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve
That's correct, Marlborough isn't only about the coast! The Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve is situated on the Pelorus River, a clear-water river with spectacular rock cliffs on both sides. The region is so beautiful that it was used in The Hobbit movies. To truly appreciate this magnificent region, take advantage of the treks, the camping, or go kayaking.