Picton is a picturesque portside town at the top of the South Island. Gateway to the forest, marine and island attractions of the Marlborough Sounds, Picton is built around a sheltered harbour. Home to cafes, restaurants and galleries it also has a floating maritime museum and aquarium. Picton is also the starting point to Queen Charlotte Track, one of New Zealand’s leading hiking trails.
The ultimate food and wine experience, the Sounds Connection Gourmet Wine Tour offers a behind-the-scenes look at several renowned Marlborough wineries including Hans Herzog Estate, Wither Hills, Cloudy Bay and Johanneshof Cellars, as well as a stop at the Makana Chocolate Factory (wineries visited on this tour can vary due to availability). Meet the makers behind these world-renowned wines and gain a fascinating insight into the wine-making process.
Enjoy the sights and sounds of the Queen Charlotte Sound with seemingly endless bays and coves to explore and different scenery around each corner. Seafood Odyssea Cruise offers a unique range of sightseeing, birdlife and wildlife. Learn about the Marlborough Sounds area, the local seafoods grown and enjoy a fabulous seafood tasting on board matched to stunning Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
Sit back and relax as Cougar Line cruises the idyllic Queen Charlotte Sound taking you to Resolution Bay for the start of your 3 hour Queen Charlotte track experience. After you disembark at Resolution Bay, enjoy the gentle walk which traverses native forest over a low saddle offering a spectacular vantage point for the photographer. The gradual descent curls along the shoreline to historic Furneaux Lodge. From here you cruise back to Picton.
Gorgeous coastal views, the stunning Marlborough Sounds, and native bush – the Queen Charlotte Track is utterly unique. Your accommodation in comfortable standard ensuite rooms, luggage transfers, daily lunch and Picton drop off/pickups are all pre-arranged so that you can relax and enjoy your walk through this coastal paradise. All you need to do is purchase your breakfast and dinner along the way. Each night you come to rest at a comfortable accommodation complete with restaurant, fine wines and a superb setting.
The Beachcomber Mail Boat provides the unique opportunity for you to get an insight into the way of life of the people who live in this beautiful and remote location in the sounds, as you cruise Queen Charlotte sound delivering mail and supplies. During the cruise your skipper will provide a commentary on the history of the Marlborough Sounds and the people who lived there then and now. Feel free to ask him any questions and keep your camera handy for any (unscheduled) wildlife encounters!
When English explorer Captain James Cook sailed into the settled waters of the Marlborough Sounds in the late 17th Century, he must have believed this was paradise. Join Wilderness Guildes for a modern day journey in Cook's footsteps along the renowned Queen Charlotte Track. Explore this vast network of drowned river valleys from the unique perspective of this well-formed track and then from the seat of a sea kayak. Here lush coastal beech forest reaches out to greet lapping tides of ever-changing hues. Each night you come to rest at a comfortable accommodation, this is luxurious lodge to lodge walking and sea kayaking at its best!
The five day guided walk is a great option with an additional night and rest day spent at Lochmara Lodge. Enjoy a massage, relax with a book or use the complimentary kayaks and rest those weary legs for a while. This trip stays at beautiful waterfront lodges with superb accommodation. Your track experience is made all the more easy by the Queen Charlotte Track’s unique water taxi pack transfer system leaving you to walk with just a day pack. After an exhilarating hike each day with a small group of fellow walkers, come to rest at the Furneaux Lodge, Mahana Lodge and Lochmara Lodge where you can enjoy a beautiful meal matched with fine Marlborough wine, all enjoyed in a stunning setting.
This tour attracts bird lovers from around the world! Immerse yourself in the natural surroundings and stunning views of Motuara Island, a predator free haven for rare and endangered native birdlife. You may see iconic birds such as the Little Blue Penguin, South Island Saddleback, Bellbird, Tui and the rare King Shag.
Hop onboard your vessel at Picton and cruise up through Queen Charlotte Sound to the historical Ship Cove.
Ship Cove was named by Captain James Cook on 15 January 1770 when his ship The Endeavour anchored here to replenish supplies of food, water and wood. It became a favourite anchorage of Captain Cook and he returned here a further four times between 1770 and 1777.
You will have 30 minutes to dabble in the creek and share the beach with the resident wildlife. Have your photo taken beside the Captain Cook Monument commemorating his visits to this area or just relax and enjoy the tranquil surrounds.
On re-joining your vessel, you will cruise via Endeavour Inlet before returning to Picton.
For bird enthusiasts keen on seeking the rare and endangered Orange-fronted Kakariki, this tour is the ultimate afternoon Wildlife Experience. Your guide has a 90% success rate on finding this elusive bird and bird watchers from all over the world come to Blumine Island to photograph and view these amazing creatures. This predator-free bird sanctuary is also home to the South Island Saddleback, Bellbirds, Kereru, Tomtits, Tui, Weka and the very rare Mohua.
There is no jetty or pier onto the island, so you may end up with wet feet jumping on and off the vessel – but it’s worth it for the experience!
Journey between Picton and Blenheim on the Coastal Pacific train, taking in stunning coastal and mountain views along the way. One of the world's most scenic train journeys, the Coastal Pacific showcases New Zealand's magnificent scenery, and includes an open air viewing carriage where all your senses are awakened with the clean, fresh, sea air.
Experience the beauty and seclusion of the Marlborough Sounds with this awesome one-day guided sea kayak trip. This tour takes in the western end of Queen Charlotte Sound with its sheltered coves, beautiful beaches, azure blue waters and lush native bush. On any given day, you have a good chance of seeing sting rays and eagle rays, a huge variety of sea birds including cormorants and sometimes little blue penguins, seals, huge starfish and if you are really lucky, even dolphins. You'll also stop at a secluded beach for a yummy lunch and learn about the history of the area from your knowledgeable and friendly guide.
This Sounds Connection 4 hour fishing excursion will take you and your guests adventuring into the amazing Queen Charlotte Sound with a local, experienced skipper. You will venture a little further and see some of the spectacular scenery that the Marlborough Sounds is famous for. MV Tory is a 35-foot vessel designed specifically for fishing in the Marlborough Sounds. It has good cover and is suitable for all ages. All fishing gear, tackle and bait is included in the charter price.