Our Region

Picton and Queen Charlotte Sound

Picton is a beautiful port town, poised at the edge of the Queen Charlotte Sound, and is home to fantastic cafes, restaurants, galleries and specialty shops.

Go by boat, bike, car, helicopter or plane to explore the intricate waterways beyond, with island bird sanctuaries, secluded bays, protected wildlife, luxurious resorts and the brilliant Queen Charlotte Track.

Picton is a buzzing community with an eclectic mix of cafes and restaurants, many of which feature freshly caught or farmed local seafood.

The foreshore is packed with things to do, from exploring the Edwin Fox, beating the family at mini-golf and window shopping for a boat, to relaxing with friends and a feed of fish and chips beside the beach.

Walking and cycle tracks lead through the native bush around the township, rewarding your efforts with wonderful views of the Marlborough Sounds.

The Queen Charlotte Sound is a coastal paradise, rich with island sanctuaries, where native birdlife thrives, pristine waters, where dolphins, penguin, orca, stingrays and all manner of seabirds can be discovered, and beautiful beaches bordered by native bush. It’s also blessed with resorts and restaurants, so you can find delicious sustenance on your journey.

There are numerous ways of seeing Queen Charlotte Sound, with guided and unguided kayak rentals, yacht and launch charters, mail boats and cruises. Visit island sanctuaries, where New Zealand’s most endangered wildlife flourishes, or historic Ship Cove - explorer James Cook's favourite anchorage during his explorations of New Zealand.

Motuara Island eco sanctuary

Visit the beautiful Motuara Island in the Queen Charlotte Sound. This predator free sanctuary is home to kiwi, saddlebacks and other native wildlife.

Motuara Island eco sanctuary

Blenheim i-SITE Visitor Information Centre

Relax at a resort

Curl up in the warmth with a good book in a beautiful resort, looking up only to enjoy the view, order your lunch or head off for a massage.

Relax at a resort

Blenheim i-SITE Visitor Information Centre

The ship Edwin Fox

The Edwin Fox in Picton is largely unrestored, with amazing displays of cabin life on the deck.

The ship Edwin Fox

Edwin Fox Ship and Visitor Centre

Camp on Blumine Island

Head to the predator-free island, Blumine Island in the Marlborough Sounds, and hear kiwi at night and wake to a beautiful dawn chorus, before walking to the WW2 gun emplacement.

Camp on Blumine Island

Blenheim i-SITE Visitor Information Centre

Spot the king shag

Get a glimpse of the king shag, the second rarest bird in the world with a stagnant population of 500-600. The king shags nest near Motuara Island in the Marlborough Sounds.

Spot the king shag

Blenheim i-SITE Visitor Information Centre

Visit Ship Cove

Visit Ship Cove in the Queen Charlotte Sound, the site of the meeting of the Maori and Pakeha cultures and start of the Queen Charlotte Track.

Visit Ship Cove

Blenheim i-SITE Visitor Information Centre

Related Guide:

Queen Charlotte Track
Things to do

Queen Charlotte Track

The iconic Queen Charlotte Track, stretching from Ship Cove to Anakiwa, is also a journey from past to present, via panoramic ocean views, thriving native bush and encounters with the likes of weka, fantail, wood pigeon and even seals.

The 70km Queen Charlotte Track's offers a rich history, incredible scenery and the freedom to walkor mountain bike without heavy gear with a network of water taxis available to transfer you to and from the track, and transfer your gear to your accommodation each night.

A full range of accommodation options are available, including luxury water's edge resorts, lodges, holiday houses, backpackers and campsites.

The track is relatively easy walking, taking 3 to 5 days, and is a fantastic mountain bike ride, over 2 to 3 days. If time doesn't allow you to complete the full track, take a water taxi out and complete just a section or two.

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