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.

Walk the Queen Charlotte Track

Boat to historic Ship Cove to start your walk on the Queen Charlotte Track. Carry your pack or have it transferred each day. Full walk 3-5 days or choose a section.

Walk the Queen Charlotte Track

Blenheim i-SITE Visitor Information Centre

Swim with dolphins

Head out from Picton with Marlborough's specialised dolphin swimming and viewing tour company to view dolphins and even swim with them, in the sheltered waters of the Queen Charlotte Sound.

The Marlborough Sounds is a favourite spot for up five dolphin species (Bottlenose, Dusky, Common, Hectors & Orca).

Swim with dolphins

E-Ko Tours

Kaipupu Point Sounds Wildlife Sanctuary

Visit the community run Kaipupu Point Sounds Wildlife Sanctuary, a mainland sanctuary just a few minutes by boat from Picton, full of native birdlife.

Kaipupu Point Sounds Wildlife Sanctuary

Blenheim i-SITE Visitor Information Centre

Take the mail boat

Travel from Havelock or Picton and call in to isolated homesteads and secluded bays to deliver mail and groceries to families living in the Marlborough Sounds.

Take the mail boat

Blenheim i-SITE Visitor Information Centre

Dine at Waterfall Bay

Events

Over the Marlborough Wine & Food Festival weekend in February indulge in extravagant lunch or dinner hosted by Seresin Estate at their beautiful Waterfall Bay venue.

Dine at Waterfall Bay

Blenheim i-SITE Visitor Information Centre

Picton's Maritime Festival

Events

Enjoy all things maritime at the Picton Maritime Festival in January. If you miss the festival, then head to the Edwin Fox Maritime Museum and EcoWorld Picton Acquarium.

Picton's Maritime Festival

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.

Read our guide

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