A trip to New Zealand’s South Island, wouldn’t be complete without staying in Picton to explore the majestic Marlborough Sounds and Marlborough’s diverse landscape. A truly special experience for all visitors to New Zealand.
Nestled at the head of Queen Charlotte Sound in the beautiful Marlborough Sounds, Picton is possibly New Zealand’s prettiest seaside town.
With one fifth of New Zealand’s coastline at its door and close proximity to Marlborough’s famous wine region, Picton has become a world class destination for international and domestic visitors.
Picton’s waterfront has one of the world’s best water views, known for its ever changing colours. The two local marinas are a stunning testament to the importance of boats, to this charming waterside village. Regular boat trips from Picton’s waterfront jetties take you to stunning locations throughout Queen Charlotte Sound and wisk you away into a world where the sound of song birds, the breeze and gentle waves lapping alongside your boat, become your daily soundtrack.
Fresh Marlborough Sounds seafood, cooked simply and world class wines produced in Marlborough’s world famous wine region are very much on the menu. Independent restaurants owned by passionate foodies serving internationally influenced dishes, can be found alongside traditional Kiwi eateries serving hot pies ’ fush n chups’ and custard squares.
Ask any visitor who has just discovered Picton, what they think of it and the answer is always, wow I never knew it was so beautiful. Most visitors to New Zealand think that Picton is where you get on and off the ferry but it’s so much more than you ever imagined.
Picton New Zealand – South Begins Here!
With some of the best weather in New Zealand, one fifth of New Zealands coast and New Zealand’s biggest wine region just a short drive away, Picton and Queen Charlotte Sound really are special places, that you will never forget.
The Marlborough Sounds are full of amazing marine life including 5 species of Dolphin, Orca, Hump Back whales (visits), Fur Seals, Blue Penguins, Rare birds including New Zealand’s very rare and endangered Saddle Back Bird, and other beautiful animals. The Marlborough Sounds are often called paradise by the locals and when you explore them, you realise why. The Marlborough Sounds are truly one of the earth’s most beautiful water landscapes.
Top tip – A dolphin experience in the Marlborough Sounds is made even more amazing, because of the crystal clear sheltered waters!
CAPTAIN COOK’S SHIP COVE
Ship Cove is a New Zealand Icon Heritage site. The site was used by Captain James Cook in the 1770’s to anchor his ship the Endeavour for provisioning and repair. Cook spent more time at Ship Cove, than anywhere else on earth, other than his home town of Whitby in England. The cove is much the same today as it was in Cook’s time. For more historic information go to www.theprow.org.nz
QUEEN CHARLOTTE SOUND
Queen Charlotte Sound was named by Captain Cook in the 1770’s after King George III’s wife, Queen Charlotte (of Mecklenburg-Strelitz). Prior to this, the Sound was known as Totaranui.
For more historic information go to http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/tracks-and-walks/marlborough/sounds/queen-charlotte-track/features/history-and-natural-history/
Queen Charlotte Sound is truly a majestic place to visit. Laced with beautiful sandy bays, secluded beaches, coves and ancient tree fern forests, the Sound is also home to one of New Zealand most famous walks, the Queen Charlotte Track.
The Queen Charlotte Track is 71km’s of amazing coastal scenery and native bush. Combining the best of New Zealand walking and biking with a seamless network of cruise and pack transfers, resorts and lodges and great food and wine. Whether you’re here for one day or five, the Queen Charlotte Track is brilliant every day.
For more information on the track go to http://www.qctrack.co.nz/
Top tip – You can book a boat trip to explore Queen Charlotte Sound from Picton waterfront!
MARLBOROUGH’S WINE REGION
Marlborough is home to New Zealand’s largest wine region. Producing 77% of all New Zealand wines and a staggering 90% plus of New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blanc. This picturesque region has much to offer and is just 15 minutes from Picton by road.
Top tip – Stay in Picton and catch daily wine tour trips to the wine region!
Staying in Picton and travelling the short trip to Marlborough’s winelands, is a Win Win Win. Stay by the Ocean in the beautiful Marlborough Sounds, see the varied landscapes of Marlborough on your way to the wine region and enjoy some of Marlborough’s many wineries all in one day. Perfect!
Just outside of Picton on the road to Waikawa Bay, you find Waikawa Marae. This stunning Marae with its beautifully carved meeting house is the perfect place to find out more about the Maori heritage of the area.
Picton is steeped in maritime history. Captain Cook’s visits to Queen Charlotte Sound, early New Zealand port history, whaling history, the world’s discovery ship visits, Maori and European settler history to name a few, enrich this town with an historic and important past. Through the years, Picton has been a bustling port, a gold mining town, a fishing port and now a tourism destination.
The world’s oldest merchant ship, the Edwin Fox, sits in dry dock in Picton. Picton museum houses an extensive collection of artifacts including early Maori artifacts and is well worth a visit.
Originally establish as a settlement in the 1500’s by north island Maori, Picton now offers a beautiful introduction to the South Island of New Zealand. The Marlborough Sounds are not to be missed on your travel through New Zealand and don’t be fooled into thinking you have experienced the magic of the sounds from the ferry trip. This place is one in a million and your journey through the South Island begins here!
We hope you enjoy this site and find it informative and helpful. We look forward to welcoming you to Picton and the Marlborough region.