Photo taken by: Felix Kogler (Flying Kiwi Traveller)

Picton Tour

Picton - Tour Highlights

This part of  the trip enjoys the Picton region and much, much more. After spending a few hours exploring the streets of Nelson before heading to Picton where it’s all change for many as we head north and south, welcome new faces and plan reunions with those leaving! We will be passing through the Marlborough wine region today, with lush green rolling hills... for those who are tempted feel free to invest in the great kiwi grapes! And for those heading to the other island the ferry trip is a great experience.

If you're doing the Ultimate Explorer, you'll really enjoy this section of your trip. Nothing beats sailing from the North to the South Island on a sunny day. After crossing the Cook Strait, the ferry navigates through the beautiful and tranquil Marlborough sounds before arriving into the quaint seaside town of Picton. Once you disembark the ferry, pace seems to slow down and you can marvel the mountains and feel excited for your first day in the South.

Nestled in a sheltered harbour, this small town of around 3000 people thrives in the summer months with tourists visiting the attractive seafront sprinkled with busy cafes, restaurants and galleries. Picton is the home of a floating maritime museum, an aquarium and multiple water-activity operators. A beachside playground and stunning shorefront is continuously occupied by families and beach-goers. It is also the town that services the ever-popular Queen Charlotte trail that can be completed on foot or bike over the cooler months. Picton is also considered the gateway to the South Island.

Marlborough is famous for it’s large contribution to New Zealand's booming Wine industry and because much of the region is sheltered by high country, it is the county’s sunniest region. Marlborough has over 170 wineries of which, to the wine-lover's delight, Flying Kiwi offer a visit into one of the most renowned along the tour. These informative wine tours and enticing tastings have transformed Marlborough into New Zealand’s flagship of the wine and food industry and a real attraction for viticulture enthusiasts. You will be treated with stunning views of the many vineyards and beautiful farm land as the bus travels over the Wither hills toward the epic east coast and our next stop in Kaikoura.

Time spent here while on a Flying Kiwi tour:

We spend one night in Picton. Its also a popular place to start and finish many of our South Island tours so why not consider spending afew extra days in the area to explore further. If you are joining our Summer Blast  tour you also have the chance to stay a couple of nights.

Tours that take you here:

Ultimate Explorer - 27 or 28 days       Summer Blast - 16, 17 or 19 days 
Total Aotearoa - 24 days Southern Light - 9 or 10 days
Reverse Traverse - 14 or 15 days  Wild West - 8 or 9 days

Where we stay: 

Piwaka Lodge – A place to take a breath and enjoy the hospitality of a bygone time. A place offering luxury backpacker accommodation provided with a handful of awhi (love).

- Breakfast served for Flying Kiwi guests
- Unlimited wifi

Things not to miss:

Edwin Fox Maritime Museum – Based on what is currently the world’s 9th oldest ship, this museum captures a slice of New Zealand’s history in one the most authentic ways possible.

Taste some of Marlborough’s most famous wine

Things to do:

Get some amazing Marlborough Sounds views from Victoria Domain.
Hike or bike the Queen Charlotte Track
Get on the water – there’s diving; the chance to swim with dolphin or you could take part in a kayak tour to experience all on offer. 



Free Things to Do:

Visit Pelorus Scenic Reserve, a Hobbit film location and a great place for a quick swim.

Insiders Tip:

If you take the ferry from Wellington to Picton, you will already experience part of the grandeur of the Marlborough Sounds, however you can also go for a hike to see one or more of the sounds. The Marlborough Sounds is all about bush-clad mountains jotting out into the sea.


tirohanga track view picton nz 750x481

Hiking Options:

You can either enjoy a sleep in or we recommend walking up Snout Track in Waikawa overlooking Picton and Marlborough Sounds. Walk back down and grab a coffee at one of the seafront cafes before heading back to the hostel.

Tirohanga Track – You’ll have a few hours in the morning before we leave Picton so why not get up and head on an awesome walk to a hilltop viewpoint that overlooks the picturesque town. It’s a steep climb to the top but once you’re there the view makes it all worth it.


Our pick of Picton's Top Adventure Activities:

 Hike or Bike the Queen Charlotte Track

 Havelock Mail Boat

 Seakayak Marlborough Sounds

 Wine Tour

 Dive Marlborough