Picton is the northern gateway to the South Island of New Zealand located at the head of Queen Charlotte Sound one of four Sounds which make up the Marlborough Sounds. Queen Charlotte Sound is the main thoroughfare for the interisland ferries which provide passenger, car and rail transport to Wellington. The Marlborough Sounds are well known for outdoor activities. Fishing, walking, tramping, kayaking and cycling are popular with overseas tourists and locals alike.
The Marlborough Sounds has many sheltered bays, many of which can only be accessed by boat. The calm waters of the sounds are excellent for kayaking, and the stunning vistas of the Queen Charlotte Track can be experienced on a 3 to 5 day walk.
By boat, you can see areas of Picton not accessible or visible from the roads, as well as encounter marine and birdlife such as albatross, penguins, dolphins and seals. There is over 15,000 kilometres of New Zealand coastline in the Marlborough Sounds to explore. Cruises or excursions can be as relaxed or as invigorating as you want them to be as many operators offer a range of sailing trips with the opportunity to sit back as a passenger, become one of the crew or even skipper your own vessel.
On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays a very worthy activity is to join the famous Pelorus Mail Run which makes deliveries to the isolated parts of the Sounds. You’ll visit isolated homesteads nestled in quiet secluded bays, delivering crucial supplies and mail the same way it has been done for decades. View mussel farms and see why Pelorus Sound is the mussel capital of the world.
Old timers row out in dinghies to meet the vessel, while some receive their supplies on tiny, unspoilt beaches. The people of the Marlborough Sounds are as much a part of the area as the history and majestic beauty.