The Best Day Trips from Picton© MarlboroughNZ
The Best Day Trips from Picton

The Best Day Trips from Picton šŸš— [2024]

© MarlboroughNZ
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The Top Places to Visit Near Picton

Picton is not just many travellers’ introduction to the South Island, but it’s a place you’re going to want to explore. The town makes an ideal base for touring the Marlborough wine region, as well as the glistening waters of the Queen Charlotte Sound and much more. Discover the best road trip (or boat trip) for you with this guide to the day trips from Picton. We also include some day tours from Picton if you prefer not to drive.

For more trip-planning success, check out The Complete Guide to Picton.

5 Best Day Tours from Picton

Before we go through the best day trips from Picton, here are some day tour alternatives should you prefer a hassle-free experience.

Guided Day Tours from Picton

The Best Day Trips from Picton© MarlboroughNZ

Queen Charlotte Sound

The Best Day Trip from Picton for Luxury Travellers

Travel time by boat: 1 hour one-way
Relevant tour: Self-Guided Queen Charlotte Track Walk from Picton with Beachcomber Cruises (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor).

Many of the water taxis and boat tours to explore Queen Charlotte Sound depart from Picton. There are mail boats for ever-changing cruises of the idyllic sounds scenery (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor), while day trips to resorts like Lochmara Lodge (on Viator and Tripadvisor) are another popular option. Active travellers can also do day portions of the iconic Queen Charlotte Track (on Viator and Tripadvisor).

Find out more places to visit in the 10 Awesome Activities in the Marlborough Sounds.

The Best Day Trips from Picton©


The Best Day Trip from Picton for Foodies

Travel time by car: 25 minutes one-way
Relevant tour: Full-Day Marlborough Wine Tour with the Marlborough Tour Company (more info on ViatorTripadvisor and Klook)

One of the main reasons visitors flock to Blenheim is to tour the Marlborough wine region. Guided tours are a good way to do this so you can taste wine freely without worrying about who’s driving back to Picton. Another thing to do is visit the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre for impressive World War Two plane scenes (more info on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook).

For more ideas on what to do, check out the 10 Amazing Things to Do in Blenheim.

The Best Day Trips from Picton©


The Best Day Trip from Picton for Families

Travel time by car: 50 minutes one-way

Take the scenic Queen Charlotte Drive to the “Greenshell Mussel Capital of New Zealand”! See what all of the fuss is about on the greenshell mussel cruise from Havelock (more info on ViatorTripadvisor and Klook). There’s also the stunning river landscape of the Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve with its array of hiking trails and kayaking tours (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor).

Add more activities to this day trip from Picton using the 9 Fun Things to Do in Havelock.

The Best Day Trips from Picton©

Mt Richmond Forest Park

The Best Day Trip from Picton for Budget Travellers

Travel time by car: 45 minutes to 1h20mins one-way

Explore the steep and forested mountain country of the Marlborough region by hiking in Mt Richmond Forest Park. There are numerous trails to choose from, including the Waikakaho/Cullen Creek Walkway and Mt Sunday/Mt Riley Track which are the closest options to Picton.

Find out more about the hiking trails in Mt Richmond Forest Park on the Department of Conservation website.

The Best Day Trips from Picton© Unsplash

St Arnaud

The Best Day Trip from Picton for Couples

Travel time by car: 1h35mins one-way

Follow the wine country and valley of the Wairau River to the alpine village of St Arnaud. The village sits on the shores of Lake Rotoiti, the icon of the Nelson Lakes National Park. Enjoy a picnic along picturesque lakeshores and embark on one of its short walking trails.

Learn more about what to do in the 7 Fun Things to Do in St Arnaud.

More About Picton Day Trips

That’s it for the best day trips from Picton. For more day trips, you might like to hit the following destinations:


The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Laura S.

This article has been reviewed and published by Laura, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Laura is a first-class honours journalism graduate and a travel journalist with expertise in New Zealand and South Pacific tourism for over 10 years. She also runs travel guides for five of the top destinations in the South Pacific and is the co-host of over 250 episodes of the NZ Travel Show on YouTube.

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