Picton is a town (population 2700) located near the head of Queen Charlotte Sound at the northern tip of the South Island of New Zealand. It is the southern port for the Cook Strait Interisland ferries and the gateway to Marlborough. It is a pleasant place to spend a few days as it serves as a convenient hub for exploring the beautiful Marlborough Sounds. Nearby activities include sailing, SCUBA diving to the wreck of the Soviet passenger cruise ship Mikhail Lermontov, fishing, biking and hiking.
Sounds Air operates frequent flights between Wellington and Picton from Picton Airport, 5 minutes south from Picton off State Highway 1. As of August 2007 a one-way fare was NZ$79, which is very close to the price of the ferry, making the 25 minute flight an affordable and convenient alternative. You may find booking online to be the cheapest choice. Sounds Air will pick you up from Picton by arrangement.
State Highway 1 leads from Blenheim (20 minutes), Kaikoura (2 hours) and Christchurch (4 1/2 hours). The state highway leads right up into the Interislander ferry terminal. Traveling to Nelson drivers have the option taking the Queen Charlotte Drive which snakes along the Marlborough Sounds to rejoin State Highway 6 at Havelock. Queen Charlotte Drive, despite being far shorter by distance does not save any driving time. Allow additional time for photography. The main route to Nelson is to take State Highway 1 to Spring Creek (5 minutes before Blenheim and then take Rapaura Rd to join State Highway 6 to Nelson.
Almost all rental car companies will have an office in Picton so you do not need to take rental cars on the ferry. A number of rental car companies are clustered around the Ferry Terminal. Sometimes they will offer deals relocating cars (usually) to Christchurch.
The Tranzcoastal +64 4 495 0775 (email firstname.lastname@example.org , fax +64 4 472 8903 , Freephone 0800 TRAINS (0800 872 467) (NZ only)),  service operates daily from and to Christchurch via Kaikoura and connects with ferry sailings. This is undoubtedly a spectacular way to experience the Kaikoura coast. .See also Train travel in New Zealand
Take a ferry from Wellington. The main services are available are the Interislander  and Straits shipping  the journey takes approx. 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
Cruise ships dock at the Waitohi Wharf, about a half mile from the center of Picton. A kiosk of the Picton Information Office is located on the wharf. Taxis are generally available at the pier. A complimentary shuttle from the wharf to the centre of Picton is sometimes provided. Larger cruise ships longer than 245m may dock at the Port's Waimahara Wharf on adjacent Shakespeare Bay. One reason cruise ships call on Picton is for the sail in/out through the Queen Charlotte Sound. Very picturesque, so make sure you get a good viewing position.
Picton has no local bus service. The town centre is easily explored on foot. Waikawa Bay, a suburb of Picton where the majority of the regions private yachts and power boats are moored is about a 30 minute walk from the centre of town. If you need to get around and don't feel like driving, take a taxi. Queen Charlotte Sound is best explored by boat.
The Marlborough Sounds (and Queen Charlotte Sound), left of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, from the International Space Station
The Marlborough Sounds. Covering some 4,000 km² of sounds (including Queen Charlotte Sound), islands, and peninsulas, the Marlborough Sounds lie at the South Island's north-easternmost point, between Tasman Bay in the west and Cloudy Bay in the south-east. The almost fractal coastline has 1/5 of the length of New Zealand's coasts.
The Edwin Fox, Picton Foreshore (A 100 metres from the Rail Ferry Terminal), ☎ 03-573 6868 (email@example.com). Daily 9AM - 5PM. Built in 1853, the Edwin Fox is the 9th oldest ship in the world and is in the process of being restored. Adult $8, Child $2.50. edit
Picton i-SITE (The tourist information centre), The Foreshore (The western end of the foreshore on State Highway 1 opposite the train station, south of the Interlsland terminal), ☎ 03 520 3113 (picton@i-SITE.org, fax: 573 5021), . edit
Picton Community Museum, London Quay, ☎ 03 573 8283. open daily, 10AM - 4PM. adults $3, children 50c. edit
A walk to the Snout. Between Picton and Waikawa Bay is a peninsula covered in a mixture of native and exotic bush. Tracks range from a few minutes to 3 1/2 hours. Cross the bridge at the eastern end of the picton foreshore. The tracks begin at the foot of the hill. The Marlborough District Council produces a map available from the tourist information centre.
Marlborough Sounds Adventure Company, London Quay, ☎ 03 573 6078 or 0800 283 283 or from Australia 1800 007 083 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: 03 573 8827), . 2007 New Zealand Tourism Award Winner. Mountain biking, kayaking, walking the Queen Charlotte Walkway. Tours or freedom hire. Great team, professional service. edit
Picton Model Engineers (Model Railroad), Foreshore, ☎ 03 573 8122 (fax: 03 573 7660). every Sunday, every day of school hols & every public holiday, 10AM - 3PM (weather permitting). Elevated track, 21 ⁄2”, 31⁄2” and 5” gauges, boat pondTrain Rides 20c, Model Yacht hire 20c. edit
Oriel Gallery, 35 High Street, ☎ 03 573 5353 (email@example.com, fax: 03 573 5357), . 7 days a week, 10AM to 5PM. Paintings, sculpture, jewellery, ceramics, photography and textiles by artists from Marlborough and throughout New Zealand. Small gifts for travellers posted anywhere.edit
The Gallery (At Evolve), 20 High Street, Picton, ☎ 03 573 7908. Open 7 days 9.30AM - 5.30PM. Boutique Art Gallery dealing in New Zealand Art, Art Jewellery, NZ Art Gifts and Photography from Marlborough and New Zealand.edit
Le Café, 12-14 London Quay, ☎ 03 573 5588 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: 03 573 5588), . Great food breakfast, lunch or dinner. Large selection of local wines are beers, often organic food and sometimes a live music scene in the evenings.edit
Gusto, 33 High Street, ☎ 03 573 7171. Small funky cafe. Good coffee.edit
Seumus's Irish Bar, 25 Wellington Street, ☎ 03 573 8994 (email@example.com, fax: 03 573 8544). Run by a man from Co. Derry in Ireland and has one of the best pints of Guinness in the southern hemisphere.edit
Cafe Cortado, Cnr of High St & London Quay (From the ferry terminal take the first road on the left and it is opposite the War Memorial), ☎ 035735630. 8am till Late. Great place to eat Breakfast, Lunch or Dinneredit
Picton Baptist Church, 293 Waikawa Road (about 5 km from Picton township), ☎ +64 3 573-6315, . Sunday services 10:00. Everyone welcome - great way to meet genuine Kiwis! Creche available for pre-schoolers and their parents, with speakers and window to monitor service.edit
Karaka Point gives expansive view up and down the Queen Charlotte Sound both from the carpark and the lookout. A 10 min walk begins at the carpark and passes the site of a Maori pa (village) before a lookout and pebbly beach. 7 km and 15 minutes from town. Take the Port Underwood Road through Waikawa Bay.
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