Picton, New Zealand
Starting Point of the Marlborough Sounds
Picton is yet another very scenic area on the South Island. The ferry from Wellington that takes cars and passengers to the South Island goes back and forth from Wellington to Picton. The cruise ships will stop in Picton, which is a tiny little town. The sail in through the Marlborough Sounds is truly delightful. If you happen to arrive on a sunny day, you will be enthralled. Many people live on these small islands and a mail boat leaves Picton each day delivering mail and supplies to the locals. The sounds are deep and the islands rise quite high. The bright green fern glad mountains and the deep fiords remind me of Norway but more rustic and less developed.
What to do in Picton
Not much to do in Picton but walk around and sit on the foreshore or take one of the many tours that operate out of the area. Most people take a tour deeper into the sounds by bus to a point where they can board a boat and then sail back to Picton. (It might be in the reverse order.) Once in a small boat, you get a better sense of the beauty and tranquility of this area. They often throw a little bread over the side and then you realize how many fish are in the sounds.
Nelson is a town just over the mountain from Picton. It takes about an hour and a half and most people head for Nelson rather than stay in Picton. The mountain you cross is full of pine trees and the drive is very scenic. Nelson is a gorgeous little town that gets more sun than any other part of New Zealand. There is a very wide and long beach with a nice surf. We ate dinner at a restaurant in Nelson, had an incredible meal and the scenery was so beautiful. Then we took a walk on the beach. A night to remember. While in Nelson, I recommend visiting The World of WearableArt and Classic Cars Museum.
This sauvignon blanc wines produced in this Marlborough area are world-renowned. The vineyards are small and quaint with wonderful restaurants and tea rooms.