Our most recommended things to do in Picton

Queen Charlotte Track: Cruise & Self-Guided Hike from Picton

1. Queen Charlotte Track: Cruise & Self-Guided Hike from Picton

Cruise through the Queen Charlotte Sound to walk part of the Queen Charlotte Track, one of the top ten coastal walking tracks in New Zealand. Your self-guided adventure starts with a cruise north from Picton to the historic Ship Cove. Here you can learn about the local area from your skipper, whilst on the lookout for marine wildlife. You will be able to choose between the following two hikes: Furneaux Lodge to Punga Cove Your first hike opportunity will be from Furneaux Lodge to Punga Cove, a 12.7-kilometer hike. You can enjoy 30-minutes ashore at the historic Ship Cove before rejoining the vessel and cruising around to Furneaux Lodge where you can grab a coffee or even brunch. Begin your self-guided hike along the Queen Charlotte Track, where you will learn that this area is rich in history and follows the coastline around the Endeavour Inlet through regenerating native bush to the Punga Cove Resort.  Ship Cove to Furneaux Lodge This hike provides you with the opportunity to hike from Ship Cove to Furneaux Lodge, a trail of 15 kilometers. You will arrive at Ship Cove where you'll begin your self-guided hike of the Queen Charlotte Track. You can climb away from the beach as you pass through native forest regenerating beneath a high canopy of trees. You will then be able to admire stunning views of the sound when you reach Tawa Saddle. The track then drops into Resolution Bay and follows an old bridle path into Endeavour Inlet to Furneaux Lodge. After your walk, you'll have time to relax before boarding your cruise vessel around 4:00 PM for your return boat journey to Picton with an estimated arrival time of 5:30-6:00 PM.

Marlborough Sounds and Ship Cove Cruise from Picton

2. Marlborough Sounds and Ship Cove Cruise from Picton

Navigate the magnficent waterways of Marlborough Sounds on a morning boat tour, departing from the Picton waterfront. Cruise up through the Queen Charlotte Sound to historical Ship Cove. Enjoy listen to live commentary on regional historical and natural landmarks. Keep a lookout for marine life such as little blue penguins and Hector’s dolphins — considered the rarest marine dolphin in the world. After about an hour’s journey, your boat drops anchor at Ship Cove. Step ashore for 30 minutes and discover the inlet named by Captain James Cook on 15 January 1770. The Endeavour was anchored here to replenish supplies and the spot became a favourite anchorage of Captain Cook. Dabble in the creek where Captain Cook made home brew for his crew and share the beach with the resident wildlife. Have your photo taken beside the Captain Cook Monument commemorating his visits to this area. Or, just relax and enjoy the tranquil surrounds.

Queen Charlotte Sound Mail Boat Cruise from Picton

3. Queen Charlotte Sound Mail Boat Cruise from Picton

Climb aboard the only official licensed New Zealand Post Rural Delivery Service by water in the Queen Charlotte Sound for a truly unique and interesting tour! Join in the excitement of Mail Day as the skipper delivers the New Zealand Rural post bags, groceries and freight to the residents that call the Queen Charlotte Sound waterways home. The Mail has been delivered by boat for over 150 years in the Queen Charlotte Sounds. Admire Marlborough Sounds' magnificent scenery and take a glimpse into daily life in the remote outposts of this region. Operating from Monday to Saturday, no one day is the same. The route changes daily, covering a different area and delivering the mail. During your cruise your skipper will provide interesting and informative commentary on the history of the Marlborough Sounds and the people who lived there then and now. Feel free to ask questions and keep your camera handy for any wildlife encounters.

Wellington and Picton: Interislander Ferry

4. Wellington and Picton: Interislander Ferry

Sit back, relax and enjoy one of the most spectacular ferry crossings in the world, between the north and south islands of New Zealand. With 92 kilometers of breathtaking views, the 3.5-hour journey between Wellington and Picton is one of New Zealand’s most iconic tourist activities.   There are 3 different ships in operation every day, so you’ll always have a wide choice of travel times.   Once on board, enjoy a range of activities. Stroll on the decks, enjoy a meal and a drink, or catch one of the latest movie releases. You can also simply relax and take in the breathtaking view. Keep your children busy with a play area, nursery, cartoons and video games. Plus, there’s plenty of seating for families.

Marlborough: Wineries Visit and Tasting Session

5. Marlborough: Wineries Visit and Tasting Session

This half-day tour begins with pickup from the meeting points in Blenheim then heads out into the rolling countryside of Marlborough.  Sip is ideal for gaining an introduction to Marlborough’s incredible wine region in a fun and relaxed way. Visit some of the region’s top cellar doors, and sample a selection of the very best wines. While you taste, learn about each of the wines and how they’re made, as well as the people who make them and the history of the wineries. At the end of a beautiful afternoon, enjoy drop-off at around 5-5:30PM.

Marlborough Full Day Wine Tour

6. Marlborough Full Day Wine Tour

You will be collected from your Blenheim hotel at 10.00 AM. Relax in the luxury minibus as your guide describes the enigmatic history of Marlborough and its world-famous wines. Each cellar door in the Wairau Valley is unique, reflecting the rare conditions which make their wines special. The bright Sauvignon Blancs, delectable Pinot Noir and tropical Aromatics have won multiple international wine awards. Not even the French can match the quality of the Sauvignon Blanc. Your tour through the vineyards will visit a variety of famous internationally branded cellar doors to the boutique family-run winery, to illustrate the diversity of wines available.  Join your guide on a stroll through a vineyard to learn about the unique conditions which produce such stunning wines and the challenges that our winemakers must overcome to consistently produce award-winning aromas and textures. Smell the wine in the barrel rooms as it matures in the oak casks. There is a stop for lunch (at own cost) at a stunning vineyard restaurant where you can savor Marlborough delicacies, from simple cheese platters to Royal salmon and Mussels or other regional specialties. Whilst your food is being prepared, you can move through to the tasting room to meet the cellar hosts as they discuss their range of wines on offer. Continue to enjoy the wines at other cellar doors after lunch. Our last stop is at the local Chocolate Factory to taste exquisite hand-made gourmet chocolates and watch the staff demonstrate their mastery of the chocolatier's skills. Your tour will end with your safe delivery back to your hotel in Blenheim or ship in Picton.

Marlborough: Full-Day Wine and Seafood Tour with Cruise

7. Marlborough: Full-Day Wine and Seafood Tour with Cruise

Experience the best of beautiful Marlborough on this full-day tour. Get picked up from Blenheim in the morning and head straight to your first of two wineries. Taste award-winning reserve-grade Marlborough wine, talk with respected winemakers, and explore beautiful Marlborough vineyards at both locations. Afterward, drive to Picton to enjoy a delicious BBQ lunch prior to departure on-board the catamaran, then sit back for a relaxing seafood cruise for the afternoon, accompanied by fresh local seafood and Marlborough sauvignon blanc as you cruise the stunning Marlborough Sounds. Relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the Queen Charlotte Sound while cruising aboard a luxury boat, and learn about the local history. Visit a salmon and a mussel farm to experience the Marlborough marine farming industry first hand. Make use of the onboard licensed bar, serving a range of Marlborough wines, along with beers, juice, and bottled water. A range of light snacks, including chips and peanuts, are available to purchase. Enjoy the boat's indoor and outdoor areas for views of the forested hills and clear blue waters from different perspectives.

Picton: Queen Charlotte Sounds Sightseeing Cruise

8. Picton: Queen Charlotte Sounds Sightseeing Cruise

Welcome to the Queen Charlotte Sounds / Tōtaranui the main sounds of the Marlborough sounds, a network of sea-drowned valleys. The Queen Charlotte Sounds were named by Captain Cook after King George III wife, Charlotte. Departing Picton crossing the main reach of the Queen Charlotte Sounds will have you arriving at Double Cove, a sheltered haven of holiday homes, cormorants (birds) and fish. Enjoy the cruise around the bay taking in some amazing water front properties and wildlife nestled up in the cove. Double Cove is a prohibited fishing area, home to tame fish, fed regularly, these include blue cod, herring, mullet and the witty mallard ducks never too far away. Departing Double Cove your vessel will take you on a cruise of discovery. The cruising area is surrounded by years of regenerating beech forest, this cruise will allow you to see some of the best of the Marlborough Sounds in a limited time frame. Your skipper will be happy to answer any questions along the way to ensure you take away the best Marlborough has to offer.

Onshore Highlights of Marlborough's Wine Region from Picton

9. Onshore Highlights of Marlborough's Wine Region from Picton

The Port of Picton in the Queen Charlotte Sound welcomes cruise ships throughout the season and it is a lovely seaside spot to explore. Just 25 minutes south of Picton, your tour takes you on a scenic journey to enjoy the famous Marlborough wine and gourmet region. The most popular highlights of the day are wine tasting, sampling local gourmet treats and the spectacular scenic routes of the vineyards, Wairau Plains, mountain ranges and farmlands while traveling to and from the most beautiful winery gardens and cellar doors. Experience gourmet treats of cheese tasting, manuka honey, oils, liqueurs, a refreshing gelato or decadent fudge. Seasonal produce is also available at roadside stalls from December through to February. You can take these aboard but must eat them before you disembark. Juicy strawberries, cherries, apricots and nectarines. Although your cruise ship caters well for you, a light tapas or cheese/meat/seafood platter with matching wines is a great way to experience the local cuisine. Your local chauffeur/guide arranges a picturesque winery garden or a chateau high on a hill with magnificent views for your pleasure. If time allows you can also request a stop at the Omaka Aviation Air Centre where you can view Peter Jackson’s amazing displays of his classic aircraft of WW1 and WW2.  The tour can continue and your chauffeur/guide will return for you to join the rest of the group within 1-2 hours. A fabulous memorabilia shop is also there for you along with delicious cafe treats. Generally tours last around 4-5 hours but flexibility is given for each ships schedule and the tour caters for passengers comfort and requirements.  Travel in comfortable small personal vehicles of 6, 9 or 11 seats and will return at least 2 hours prior to your ship's scheduled departure. Before leaving Blenheim you should visit the Makana Boutique Chocolate Confections – a treat not to be missed. For a highlight to end a wonderful day when you arrive back in Picton, why not take advantage of a short 15 minute return drive from the township to the Victoria Domain for high vantage views of Picton Port, Queen Charlotte Sound and your ship. Your local chauffeur/guide is a local owner who has great passion for the Marlborough region and looks forward to sharing it all with you. 

Picton: Kaipupu Sanctuary with Water Taxi Transport

10. Picton: Kaipupu Sanctuary with Water Taxi Transport

Take a leisurely walk around Kaipupu Sanctuary and enjoy the bird song, native forest, and stunning views across the inner Queen Charlotte Sounds. Allow around 2 hours to explore at your own pace with the convenience of water taxi transport to and from the walking track. Only a 10-minute water taxi ride from Picton Habour, Kaipupu Sanctuary is a great place to explore New Zealand's unique biodiversity. Located in the heart of Picton Harbor, it is a community-driven conservation project that provides visitors with an opportunity to experience the wonder of nature. The 2.7km loop track will take you through recovering native bush, old-growth forest, and a restoration zone. The bush-clad hills are home to many of New Zealand’s unique native birds and insects and New Zealand fur seal can often be found lazing on the jetty during autumn and winter. With a predator-free fence surrounding the area, the sanctuary is a haven for local wildlife. Pest traps are maintained by volunteers to ensure rats, stoats, and possums that swim around the fence are quickly removed. Weed infestations that once smothered the regenerating forests have been significantly reduced, and an extensive education program has seen hundreds of local children visiting the Sanctuary.

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What people are saying about Picton

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 446 reviews

Sue was an awesome guide, very kind and interested in her participants. She had a perfect level of giving information, keeping us on schedule but giving the participant the feeling of being relaxed and having all the time you need at every winery.

We had a great day. Panel went out of her way to create a unique set of experiences that showcased the best of the Marlborough region.

For a half day tour it was amazing taken to some fabulous vineyards even though it was a public holiday and lots were closed

Super experience. Guides were great! Everything was great! 11 out of 10

All went according to plan and people helpful. Great day - awesome day