Things to do in Picton – The hidden Dreamland of South Island
Last Updated on 04/10/2021
Picton. A town located on the north coast of the Marlborough Region, South Island, New Zealand. With one-fifth of the New Zealand Coastline at its front door, Picton often manages to surprise travellers with enchanting waterfront views and bewitching nature escapades with opportunities to view some incredible native wildlife. However, Picton is well known for its fresh seafood, rich wine and stunning vineyard tour options – but that’s not all. Here’s what Picton can offer to make your New Zealand trip more magical.
Table of Contents
- 1 Redefine Nature Treks in the Marlborough Sounds
- 2 Explore the stunning Queen Charlotte Track
- 3 Cruise across the Queen Charlotte Sounds
- 4 Visit the world’s 9th oldest ship in Edwin Fox Maritime Museum
- 5 Visit the Picton I-SITE Visitor Information Centre
- 6 Make a smooth & scenic crossing with the Interislander!
- 7 Visit the Lochmara Lodge Marlborough Sounds Wildlife Recovery Centre
- 8 EcoWorld Aquarium & Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre
- 9 Enjoy a wine tasting tour through the Picton Sound
- 10 Visit the Heritage & Whaling Museum Picton
- 11 Enjoy a scenic tour to the Karaka Point Walk
Redefine Nature Treks in the Marlborough Sounds
The Marlborough Sound is a whole package. It’s made of 4 breathtaking sounds – Pelorus, Kenepuru, Mahau and the Queen Charlotte Sound. These large ocean inlets are a vital part of the attraction in the Marlborough region. Camping and doing multi-day treks are the best way to see a fair chunk of the beauty. If you’re coming from Wellington, you can take a ferry. Or drive -if you’re coming from Blenheim. Go fishing and swimming, explore its stunning nature trails. An unforgettable tour awaits!
Explore the stunning Queen Charlotte Track
The Queen Charlotte track’s located less than 2-hours from Picton. It’s part of the Marlborough region, and it’s one of the MOST breathtaking tour experiences available on the South Island. There’re one day and multi-day treks. The walk can get rough sometimes, but that’s half the excitement. Explore the Ship Cove region, the Keneperu Saddle and more. You can walk or cycle along the Queen Charlotte Track too. Either way, you’ll constantly be rewarded with spectacular blue water and scenic nature views.
Cruise across the Queen Charlotte Sounds
Explore it by vehicle, flight (for unbelievable landscape and sound views) or even take a Picton ferry. Either way, this destination’s one of the most remarkable places the South Island has to offer. The sound is a tremendous blue beauty, surrounded by lush green mountains. The sceneries before you are one-in-a-million. Go fishing and camp the night under the clear starry sky next to the sound. Or even join a scenic cruise or sea kayaking tour. The possibilities are endless.
Visit the world’s 9th oldest ship in Edwin Fox Maritime Museum
Located in the heart of Picton, facing the lovely waterfront is the maritime museum devoted to safeguarding a part of New Zealand’s history. Explore the structure of the Edwin Fox and its rich history, which is eagerly shared with the visitors on tour. Kids and adults can explore the exhibits of ships while here and learn more about the history. A must add to your list of things to do in Picton.
Visit the Picton I-SITE Visitor Information Centre
If you’re not sure of what you’re doing, or you need more details on where to visit and how to make the most of your visit, then head to the Picton Visitor Centre – which’s located amid the Picton next to the steam train track. The staff is updated and welcoming. They’ll provide all the best advice on wine tour and nature tour options, Wellington – Picton ferry schedules and more.
Make a smooth & scenic crossing with the Interislander!
Here’s an experience unlike any you would’ve experienced. The Interislander offers passage to travellers who have vehicles and those who don’t, while providing a smooth crossing. There are several terminals – including the wellington -Picton ferry terminal. Cruise past some incredible scenic mountains and the famous Bob’s Bay. The Interislander ferry experience is fascinating and worth adding to your list of things to do in Picton.
Visit the Lochmara Lodge Marlborough Sounds Wildlife Recovery Centre
Attention nature lovers, here’s a treat for you! Approx. one and half hours from the town of Picton, the Lochmara Lodge’s a unique haven for wildlife and flora of the Marlborough Sound. It includes a recovery centre for endangered birds and more! Choose between a half or full-day tour. Do a boat cruise on the Queen Charlotte Sound or a walk in the Queen Charlotte Track. You can learn so much about the wildlife homes here. Check out the epic underwater observatory too!
EcoWorld Aquarium & Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre
Come discover the incredible marine life here. Located in the centre of Picton town, just a half-hour drive if you’re travelling from Blenheim. This centre ensures the healthy maintenance of countless native wildlife. It’s essential to understand it’s a non-profit organization devoted to protecting native marine and wildlife – so keep your expectations fair. Still, it’s definitely worth a visit as you get to walk around and see native blue penguins, tuataras and learn a lot!
Enjoy a wine tasting tour through the Picton Sound
Take a luxury tour to the most famous wineries near the Picton Sound. Different tour options are available between Picton and Blenheim. Visit approx. 4-5 wineries, indulge in some gourmet chocolate as you enjoy your wine tasting tour. There’re Picton Shore tour options as well, where you can enjoy a scenic cruise through the Picton sound as you indulge in some of the finest wines Picton has to offer. This tour is a must-add to your list of things to do in Picton.
Visit the Heritage & Whaling Museum Picton
Located in the heart of town, next to the London Quay, this heritage museum is a must-visit. Learn about the local history of Picton and the Marlborough Sound. The museum has a comprehensive section to talk about the Whaling history and the native indigenous history too. Enjoy a collection of fascinating displays. The staff are helpful, they’ll attend to you as you take a tour. A lovely treat for any history buffs.
Enjoy a scenic tour to the Karaka Point Walk
It’s a lovely trail you can enjoy from Picton to Karaka Point (distance: approx. 8.5 km). The Karaka point is located between Waikawa and Whatamango bays. Enjoy some beautiful waterfront views with mountains at a distance – the water is clear and mesmerising. You can drive or do a biking trip. Either way, the experience will be amazing.