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Picton

Culture & History

Our most recommended Picton Culture & History

Queen Charlotte Sound Mail Boat Cruise from Picton

1. 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.

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. Warm up with tea and coffee and 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.

Picton: Marlborough Wineries & Hotspots Hop-on Hop-off Tour

3. Picton: Marlborough Wineries & Hotspots Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Enjoy the flexibility of exploring Marlborough at your own pace without the stress of wondering where to go. Spend more time exploring with the conveniently organized transportation of this hop-on hop-off tour.  Sit back and relax on a comfortable coach as your knowledgeable driver prepares you with all the information needed for a fantastic day out.  Visit popular attractions and local gems in Marlborough, including museums, breweries, restaurants, activity centers, shopping areas, and of course, some of the best breweries and wineries in the region.  Jump on and off as you please, visiting as many destinations as you like and choosing your duration of stay at each spot.

Marlborough Half-Day Wine Tour from Blenheim

4. Marlborough Half-Day Wine Tour from Blenheim

Discover the flavors of Marlborough on a half-day small-group tour. Be picked up from your Blenheim accommodation and travel through the scenic beauty of the Marlborough vineyards. Collection from Picton is available at a small surcharge per group. Relax in a luxury minibus as your guide shares insight into the region’s history and world famous wines. You will visit five cellar doors on this tour from famous internationally branded cellar doors to boutique family-run wineries. Requests for particular wineries will be accommodated where possible.  Stroll through a vineyard with your guide. Learn about the region’s unique conditions and the challenges wine makers must overcome. A table for lunch at a cellar door restaurant can be booked for you for an additional cost. Sample hand-made chocolates at the local Chocolate Factory. Your tour will end with your safe delivery back to your hotel around 3 PM. 

From Blenheim: Marlborough Wines and Aviation Day Tour

5. From Blenheim: Marlborough Wines and Aviation Day Tour

Benefit from pickup at your accommodation in Blenheim, and then travel to the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre to look at life-size displays of aviation scenes from World War I and World War II. Explore the times of early aviators of the 20th century and more.  Then, travel through the vineyards of the award-winning Marlborough wine region, known for its fruity Cabernet Sauvignons and zesty Pinot Noirs. Access the barrel rooms and cellars in the valley, and stop for lunch at your own expense at a vineyard restaurant. Sample handmade gourmet chocolates at a chocolate factory at the end of your amazing experience before drop-off back at your hotel.

Marlborough Sounds: Full-Day Guided Kayak Tour with Lunch

6. Marlborough Sounds: Full-Day Guided Kayak Tour with Lunch

The day starts with a safety briefing and getting kitted up before heading down to the beach. Listen to a quick paddling introduction and then head out onto the water for the rest of the tour. The route is always flexible so the tour goes where the weather is best. Depending on how the group decides, there may be a chance to stop and stretch your legs or take a swim before continuing on to a pretty beach for a delicious picnic lunch. Upon landing at the beach, your guide will serve up some hot drinks. After lunch, work your way back towards the starting beach, all going well with a sea breeze at your back. Once back at the beach, you will de-kit and then head off on the rest of your adventure in New Zealand. Showers are available if needed (water dependent during the drier months).

From Picton: Private Wine and Gourmet Tour of Marlborough

7. From Picton: Private Wine and Gourmet Tour of Marlborough

Create your perfect day in the Marlborough wine region on a 6-hour tour priced for a group of up to 6 people. Your chauffeur/guide will help you pick the best spots to enjoy the fantastic wines of Marlborough and peaceful vineyard settings. You’ll be taken on an exciting wine and gourmet experience on this private day tour from Picton. Enjoy stunning views of the Marlborough wine region and taste fine wines and delicious gourmet treats. Your interests are the priority for the day and might include visits to award-winning gardens, local producers, and talented local artisans. Your tour is tailored especially for you. If you’re interested in history, you could enjoy a stop at the Heritage Air Museum to see Peter Jackson's amazing classic aircraft displays. If you’re interested in arts and crafts, you can stop meet a local artist and visit a renowned gallery. Additional highlights could include a local brewery, a private home gourmet kitchen, or a scenic drive around the bays of Marlborough Sounds. Sit back and relax with wide views from the windows as you meander through the Wairau Plains, the expansive vineyards, the rolling hills of the valley, and the local horticultural and farming spots, with the Pacific Ocean nearby. As Marlborough is the heart of the New Zealand wine region, wine tasting is usually at the top of the list. The many wineries and cellar door hosts offer a truly personal experience to showcase award-winning wines all year round. Treats of Marlborough's gourmet and local produce can be slipped in to suit. Tastings can include local cheeses as well, along with the Manuka honey, peanut butters with a difference, black garlic, smoked mushrooms and lots more. During the season, from November through to February, local produce can be found at roadside stalls. You’ll find asparagus, juicy cherries, strawberries, raspberries, apricots, nectarines and more. Lunch venues run from a beautiful winery garden restaurant to a chateau on a hill with amazing views. Wine tasting is available or you could enjoy a glass or bottle of wine suited to your menu choices. Cheese platters are also offered at some of the cellar doors to accompany your wine tasting. A major highlight of all tours is a stop at the Makana Chocolate Boutique, where you’ll be tempted, to say the least. If you are attending a Marlborough event or are visiting on business and prefer the privacy of your own chauffeured tour, your chauffeur/guide will create a custom itinerary to suit your requirements. Private appointments can be arranged for your specific industry.

Picton Self-Guided Audio Tour

8. Picton Self-Guided Audio Tour

Download a vibrant MP3 self-guided audio tour combined with a fully detailed map of the area of your tour. Enjoy the beautiful and serene area of Picton, where you will learn about the history of how the town was formed on the site of a former Māori settlement and where the Whaling Stations were located. In this audio tour, you will walk through the tranquil and recently renovated Picton Foreshore, and take in the amazing views of the seaside community. You will also see the Edwin Fox, the Whaling Harpoon, the Quay, the Victoria Doman, the War memorial Archway and the Sennen House. Picton is a lively yet peaceful city full of eclectic architecture and quirky features. 

New Zealand: 11 Day South Island Tour

9. New Zealand: 11 Day South Island Tour

Set off on an adventure-filled 11-day tour to discover and explore New Zealand's South Island with accommodation and some activities included. Day 1 - Wellington to Kaikoura Travel across the Cook Strait, one of the most enjoyable and beautiful ferry journeys in the world. Go for a wine tasting in the Marlborough region and visit the Kaikoura Seal colony. Day 2 - Kaikoura to Christchurch Hike the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway. Enjoy the amazing panoramic views of Kaikoura and discover hidden gems of Christchurch in a city street art trail. Day 3 - Christchurch to Lake Tekapo Marvel at the stars at the Dark Sky Project, Lake Tekapo. Visit The Church of the Good Shepherd. Hike up Mount John for panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and lakes. Day 4 - Lake Tekapo to Mount Cook (return) Spend the day at Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park before Hiking the Hooker Valley Track to Hooker Lake. Day 5 - Lake Tekapo to Queenstown Delight your palate with a buffet dinner with panoramic views of Queenstown at the Skyline Stratosphere Restaurant (at your own expense). Day 6 - Queenstown free day Have the whole day to yourself and explore the wonders of Queenstown. Day 7 - Queenstown to Glenorchy day trip Cruise past the late, soaking up the views, and onto Glenorchy where you'll do some short walks. Day 8 - Queenstown to Wanaka Hike Roys Peak (6-hour return) and take in breathtaking views over Lake Wānaka (only accessible from November to May). Mt Iron hike (alternative to Roys Peak); provides 360-degree views of The Pisa range. Visit the famous Wanaka tree. Day 9 - Wanaka to Franz Josef Thunder Creek falls in Mt Aspiring National Park. Visit Lake Matheson, famous for mirror views of Aoraki/Mount Cook. Day 10 - Franz Josef Design and carve your own Greenstone jewelry in a West Coast workshop (included) and walk the Glacier valley walk in Franz Josef. Day 11 - Franz Josef to Christchurch Take a scenic hike across Arthurs Pass, walk the Castle Hill track, and admire Devils Punchbowl waterfalls.

Private Shore Excursion from Picton: Marlborough Highlights

10. Private Shore Excursion from Picton: Marlborough Highlights

The Port of Picton in the Queen Charlotte Sound welcomes cruise ships through-out the season. Just 25 minutes south of Picton your local chauffeur will take you on a scenic journey to enjoy the famous Marlborough wines.   Your personal tour offers great flexibility to combine your favourite requests  with a local chauffeur's recommendations of the area. Enjoy a full wine tour experience or mix with other Marlborough gourmet and local attractions. On arrival into the Blenheim countryside of the Wairau Valley you can start tasting some sensational wines before a relaxing break for brunch, lunch or afternoon refreshment (at your own cost) applicable to your ships schedule.  A popular choice could be a light tapas platter of mouth-watering cheese, meats and seafood with matching wines at a picturesque winery spot or while you overlook the Valley views of vineyards and the surrounding landscapes. More wine tasting could follow or try some of the local gourmet oils, liqueurs, local cheeses, garlic noir, peanut butters, Manuka honey or a refreshing gelato. Your itinerary could vary depending on some of the options you choose on the day. Some exciting options you could consider could be a visit to an award winning garden, a visit to a renowned local artist’s personal gallery, a visit to another special artisan gallery and the opportunity to see the pet sheep.  You could also choose a visit to the Omaka Aviation Museum to view Peter Jackson’s classic air craft displays from WW1 and WW2 or a helicopter ride over the Wairau Valley and Tasman Bays. A must stop is the Makana Boutique Chocolate Confections – a tasty treat  not to be missed. Some activities will be subject to availability on the day if not pre-booked and  any entry fees may be payable to the organizer on the day. When you have booked please ask about these options and they can be pre-booked for you. Once back in Picton you may like to take in the breath-taking views overlooking the Port of Picton, Queen Charlotte Sound and your ship. You will travel in a comfortable vehicle of up to six seats to suit the single traveller, couples and friends.  Your local chauffeur is a local owner who has great passion for Marlborough and would look forward to sharing it with you.

Frequently asked questions about Picton Culture & History

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What people are saying about Picton

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 8 reviews

The most wonderful experience. The skipper had so much knowledge, it made for an incredibly interesting journey. Thanks Beachcombers

A must do activity, great crew, interesting and informative commentary, saw some dolphins - plus a seal and a lot of birdlife.

Absolutely fantastic. Scenery out of this world. Ryhan the skipper what he didn’t know about the Area wasn’t worth knowing

Super awesome experience. Friendly and knowledgeable guide. Amazing scenery. Highly recommended to all

Very knowledgeable skipper. Taking in the scenery from a different point of view was great.