Located in the Marlborough Region of New Zealand’s South Island, Picton is a pretty port town near the head of the Queen Charlotte Sound. It is the South Island base for the ferry service that links the main islands in New Zealand. The town itself is built around a harbor, and has many different restaurants, art galleries and cafes where visitors can stop by to have fun and enjoy the view. There are also several museums, as well as local operators that will take visitors out for various water-related activities, from fishing to kayaking.
If you’re a museum and history buff, spend an afternoon visiting the different museums in Picton. The Edwin Fox Maritime Museum is dedicated to the world’s ninth-oldest surviving wooden ship, the Edwin Fox, which was built near Calcutta and launched in 1853. The museum features maritime exhibits, as well as the actual ship. The Picton Museum has a collection of approximately 2000 items of Maori, whaling, maritime, heritage and textile displays, and photo displays are available for five dollars each. If you want to try some New Zealand seafood, grab a water taxi and head for Portage Resort’s Te Weka Restaurant, which serves salmon, mussels and other delicacies, then enjoy a glass of wine in their funky Retro Lounge Bar. Other recommended places to eat include Café Cortado, which offers amazing harbor views, Gusto for breakfast (try their salmon scrambled eggs), and Le Café for Havana coffee and salami sandwiches. Catch a movie at the cozy Picton cinema, and visit Eco World Aquarium to see unique rehabilitated animals including blue penguins, geckos and giant weta.
The Marlborough Region is known for its wine country and beautiful weather, and there are many quaint towns near Picton that make for great day trips. If you’re looking to explore the wine in the region, the town of Blenheim comes highly recommended—they offer numerous vineyard tours and you can bike around the vineyards as well. Renwick is another town that is known for its wine scene. Havelock is a historic town where people come to eat mussels, go fishing and browse in the art galleries. Travel to the outer edges of the Marlborough Sounds, which is New Zealand’s largest landmass that offers peace and quiet on the island surrounded by native forest and the beautiful blue ocean.
Get close to the action with an incredible view by renting one of the many studios or apartments on the Picton Waterfront, which have access to the shuttle service, restaurants, cafes and pubs. There are many cute mobile home parks available, such as Parklands Marina Holiday Park, which is located in quiet and peaceful surroundings very close to Picton and a five-minute walk to the Waikawa Marina. The Waikawa Bay district has nice homes in communities that have access to water sports facilities and cycling, which is popular in the area.
Picton does not have a local bus service, but Nelson Lakes Shuttles specializes in transportation for hikers, mountain bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts. Rental cars are another convenient option for getting around Picton, and many are located near the Ferry Terminal. Taxis are another great option for getting to and from your destinations quickly and there are many taxis available at the pier. If you want to travel by train, the Tranzcoastal service operates daily to and from Christchurch via Kaikoura and is a great way to see the coast. The ferry is another popular transportation method, with main services on the Interislander and Straits Shipping from Wellington. Cruise ships dock at the Waitohi Wharf, and a complimentary shuttle from the wharf to Picton’s center is often provided.
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