Picton – a laid back sort of place

If you are looking for a laid back holiday where you can chill out, relax and unwind from the stresses of day to day life, then Picton is the ideal destination. Nestled away at the top of the South Island, Picton is a beautiful coastal town which sits in an ideal location for exploring some of New Zealand’s most popular destinations but without all the crowds. Picton is definitely a place for people in the know. A lot of people choose to skip straight through on their way north or south to catch the ferry, however those who do make the stop off in Picton come back time and time again.

Here are our top 5 favourite things to do on a weekend away in Picton:

Wine Tasting

The vineyards of Marlborough are a great place to have lunch.
The vineyards of Marlborough are a great place to have lunch. Photo credit: Explore Marlborough Guided Wine Tours

Picton enjoys a stunning location right on the waterfront and the Picton Yacht Club Hotel is the pick of the bunch with stunning sea views. Located just a short 30 minute drive inland from Picton however is the stunning Marlborough wine growing region and at its heart is Blenheim. One of the best things to do when you’re down in Picton is to book yourself on to a guided wine tour; two of our personal favourites are Hop N Grape Tours who are the only tour to have a winemaker as your guide and Explore Marlborough Guided Wine Tours who offer an awesome bike tour of the vineyards which is great fun, especially in the summer sun. Whichever way you choose to explore the vineyards, you’re in for a treat and this is one of the best ways to kick back and relax.

Queen Charlotte Track

A view from the Queen Charlotte Track looking back over the Marlborough Sounds
A view from the Queen Charlotte Track looking back over the Marlborough Sounds

We just love the Queen Charlotte Track! Whether you want to walk, cycle or run, this is the perfect place to get away from the world. Enjoy the stunning views over the Queen Charlotte Sounds, soak up the majestic flora and fauna all around and truly relax and unwind. The Queen Charlotte Track is extremely accessible for people of any fitness level and you can choose to start your journey from Picton or for something a bit different, take a cruise and get dropped off along the track and walk back. However you choose to explore the Queen Charlotte Track, there is no doubting this is one of the best walking/cycling tracks in New Zealand.

Take a cruise

Beachcomber Cruises run the fantastic Mail Boat Cruise on the Marlborough Sounds
Beachcomber Cruises run the fantastic Mail Boat Cruise on the Marlborough Sounds

Many of our guests come and stay with us so they can head out onto the water. Whether it’s exploring the Queen Charlotte Sounds or the Marlborough Sounds, a cruise is a must do activity when you’re down in Picton and we find it one of the best ways of relaxing. There is nothing quite like the sound of the waves as your cruise ship steers you through the crystal clear waters and the gentle rock of the boat. There are lots of cruise options in Picton and one of our favourite is Beachcomber Cruises who offer a wide variety of options for lunch cruises to their unique mailboat cruise which sees you delivering the post to the remote places that sit on the Sounds.

Swim with dolphins

Eko Tours gives people the chance to swim with dolphins in the Marlborough Sounds, Picton

There are a number of places in New Zealand where you can swim with the dolphins and Picton is one of them! Get in the water with these amazing animals as they splash and play in the water with you. The calm waters of the Marlborough Sounds are the perfect place to swim with dolphins for swimmers of all abilities. The only company that offer the chance to swim with dolphins in Picton is E-Ko Tours and this also makes for a pretty unique experience as there will only be one boat in the water with the dolphins. If you don’t fancy getting in the water, the dolphin watching tour is also pretty amazing and an experience you will never forget.

Picton Waterfront

Picton waterfront right in front of the Picton Yacht Club Hotel

Situated right outside the Picton Yacht Club Hotel is the waterfront area in Picton – a great place to sit back, relax and unwind. Picton is a busy town with lots going on and this is a great place to come and people watch, chat with the locals or just relax with a good book. With the hotel situated just 2 minutes’ walk away, it’s a great place to come between a swim in the pool or a drink at the bar. You can also pop back to the hotel for lunch at the Boatshed Bar or stop in for dinner at the Chartroom Restaurant.

Picton is one of our most popular destinations and those who come here leave with amazing memories, feeling refreshed and relaxed. What are your favourite things to do in Picton?

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