Things to Do in Picton for Couples
On the shores of the Marlborough Sounds, surrounded by bush-clad hills, wildlife sanctuaries and vineyards, Picton certainly offers a romantic introduction (or conclusion) to a road trip around the South Island. With lavish boutique hotels, resorts and B&Bs, all couples need to complete a stay are memorable experiences to match. We’ll go through some of the more endearing options in this list of romantic activities in Picton for couples.
1. Team Up in a Double Kayak to Paddle the Marlborough Sounds
Let’s waste no time in getting you out on the vibrant waters of the Marlborough Sounds! One way to do so is by teaming up in a double sea kayak to explore breathtaking bays, coves and wildlife. Paddling in a double kayak really tests your teamwork, providing a rewarding way to explore the Sounds. Guided and self-guided, half-day and full-day kayak tours are available with Wilderness Guides and Marlborough Sounds Adventure Co.
Location: Wilderness Guides – 1 London Quay. Marlborough Sounds Adventure Co – 4 Wellington Street.
2. Take Part in an Indulgent Wine Tour
A renowned romantic drink is produced right here in the Marlborough region. Marlborough is New Zealand’s largest wine region where Picton is an excellent base to explore it. Jump on a small-group winery-hopping tour with Sounds Connection or Marlborough Wine Tours of a half-day or full-day of wine-tasting experience. Learn about New Zealand’s prolific wine industry as you travel from winery to winery sipping a multitude of varietals with your loved one. To make the experience more intimate, do a private bespoke wine tour with Hop n Grape Wine Tours Marlborough.
Location: Pick-ups from Picton accommodations are available.
3. Swim with Dolphins
If wildlife makes your heart melt, then you’re in for a treat in Picton. Slip into the water with wild dolphins on a dolphin swimming cruise with E-Ko Tours. Your professional guides will teach you how to best interact with the dolphins for a mutually fun experience between you and these beautiful marine mammals. The Marlborough Sounds are known for its pods of bottlenose and dusky dolphins, while orca and Hector’s dolphins are also sometimes seen. The tour includes full wetsuit and snorkelling gear, as well as hot drinks and biscuits on board to warm up after your swim.
Location: 1 Wellington Street, Picton town centre.
4. Cruise to the Motuara Wildlife Sanctuary
An alternative wildlife encounter, head out to Motuara Island which is a predator-free bird sanctuary. After a cruise looking out for dolphins and seals, you’ll arrive at the island at the far end of the Sound. There, walk hand-in-hand on a short walk to a beautiful lookout and come back down quickly so you can spend more time at the island’s only watering hole which is the best place to watch the birds. They even sometimes hop onto you – you’ll feel like Snow White! This experience is also available with E-Ko Tours, as well as Beachcomber Cruises.
Location: E-Ko Tours – 1 Wellington Street. Beachcomber Cruises – Corner of London Quay and Wellington Street, Picton town.
5. Do the Queen Charlotte Track Together
Prefer to stick to dry land? This could be the perfect excuse to experience the Queen Charlotte Track. This multi-day premium hiking trail ventures over the undulating hills of the Queen Charlotte Sound, boasting commanding coastal vistas, lush forest and retreats in scenic campsites to luxury lodges. Get a taste for the trail on cruise and hike packages with Cougar Line or Beachcomber Cruises. Wilderness Guides offers kayaking and hiking combos, while Natural Encounters Walks can arrange complete packages for the full multi-day trail. Learn more about the trail in The Ultimate Guide to the Queen Charlotte Track.
Location: Cougar Line, Beachcomber Cruises and Wilderness Guides – London Quay, Picton town. Natural Encounters Walks offers accommodation pick-ups.
6. Enjoy Breakfast in the Sounds
Unless you are staying in one of the luxurious Marlborough Sounds lodges that we list in The Honeymoon Guide to Picton, you need to experience at least a morning in the Sounds. An easy option to fit in before heading to your next South Island destination or taking the ferry, Lochmara Lodge offers a morning excursion from Picton. The tour includes water transport to the lodge and back, as well as breakfast and drinks in their relaxing cafe. Both the indoor seating and alfresco on the deck offers gorgeous views of Lochmara Bay where it’s common to spot dolphins.
Location: 18 Wellington Street, Picton town.
7. Indulge in a Couples’ Spa Retreat
To relax between your adventures, how about a couples’ retreat at Little Oasis? The Picton day spa offers exclusive packages for couples including studio accommodation, a glass of bubbles on arrival, a one-hour massage each, a private dinner in their romantic lounge provided by Oxley’s Bar and Kitchen (see point #8), a sauna session for two, use of a private garden spa pool and more. For more experiences like this, see the 8 Luxury Activities in Picton.
Location: 53 Durham Street, Picton town.
8. Treat Your Loved One to a Romantic Dinner
Picton favours casual eateries, rather than romantic restaurants, but couples can still find some gems if they know where to look. For instance, just like its romantic boutique hotel, Escape to Picton has a restaurant to complement. Dine on well-presented plates of contemporary New Zealand and French cuisine. For a casual and upbeat atmosphere in a classic pub with excellent views across the Picton Marina, Oxley’s Bar and Kitchen is your place. And for celebrating a special occasion, a trip to the Bay of Many Coves in the Marlborough Sounds is a must! This luxury resort features three restaurants, one of which is a fine dining restaurant where their wine-matched degustation menu are a highlight. For more restaurant recommendations, see The Foodie Guide to Picton.
Location: Escape to Picton – 33 Wellington Street, Picton town. Oxley’s Bar and Kitchen – 1 Wellington Street. Bay of Many Coves – Bay of Many Coves, Queen Charlotte Sound, accessible by water taxi.