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Picton

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About Picton

The gateway to spectacular Marlborough Sounds — and Queen Charlotte Sound in particular — the small seaside community of Picton is a marvellous base for a relaxing coastal escape or an adventurous holiday with friends and family. You’ll be perfectly placed to discover the Marlborough wine region, to hike or cycle, or to take to the water for sailing, fishing and kayaking. Carefully selected by our expert gurus, our list of the best places to stay in Picton includes everything from a heritage B&B to a remote eco-resort accessible only by speedboat or helicopter.

Set in an an inlet known as Picton Harbour, the town itself is fringed by verdant hills and mountains. Stroll the streets to admire boutiques and eateries — you'll find most of the action clustered around the marina. Keen adventurers can hike or cycle a portion of the 70km Queen Charlotte Track, or take to the skies for helicopter rides and skydiving. Enjoy sailing lessons or charter a yacht for trips around scenic coves and out to spot endemic birds on Motuara Island. Shipwreck dives are also popular, as are dolphin watching expeditions.

Twenty minutes’ drive away, the Marlborough wine region is sensational. Explore Blenheim and visit some of the area’s hundred vineyards and 40 cellar doors for a taste of New Zealand's most famous export. Many of the best places to stay in Picton also pair top wines with gourmet fare at their in-house restaurants — a foodie dream!

The Best Places to Stay in Picton

For a Central Stay

  • Sennen House was built in 1886, and sits within verdant gardens. Book one of three appealing studios and apartments with lovely balconies, kitchenettes and sitting rooms. Breakfast hampers are delivered each morning, and you can easily stroll into central Picton for cafés and restaurants. For couples, friends or families with teenagers.
  • Escape to Picton has just one room and two suites on the marina in Picton. Known for its excellent seafood restaurant, this little property is a foodie favourite. It's also great for couples or friends eager to stay in the heart of Picton, within easy reach of all the attractions. Charming.

For Honeymooners

  • The Sounds Retreat is a cool, contemporary suite with superb views over Queen Charlotte Sound. Pick this place for the indulgent feel, the sense of privacy, and the beautiful candelit gourmet dinners. The team pride themselves on organising epic activities — from private vineyard tours in a 1985 Land Rover Defender to helicopter trips and fishing charters. A honeymoon escape.

For Secluded Luxury

  • Bay of Many Coves Resort has one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments with spectacular views over Arthur's Bay. Set on 52 hectares of private grounds, this secluded escape can be accessed only by air or water. Families and groups will delight in fantastic food, hikes, sailing and fishing trips. Brilliant for bird watching, too.
  • Raetihi Lodge offers space for up to 28 guests in a beautiful coastal spot on Kenepuru Sound. Exclusive bookings are ideal for wedding, family or group celebrations. There's fabulous food, kayaking, hiking, fishing and boat trips to entertain visitors of all ages. Superb.
  • No Road Inn is an indulgent 5-bedroom contemporary lodge, perfect for exclusive group or family holidays. With the Queen Charlotte Track running through the back garden, and plenty of kayaking, boat trips and cycling opportunities in the area, this is one for outdoorsy travellers dreaming of absolute privacy. Accessed by boat, helicopter or on foot.

For Great Value

  • The Portage Resort offers a collection of simple rooms and two-bedroom suites, 15 minutes from Picton by water taxi. An affordable base for family trips, with kayaks, paddle boards and fishing gear to hire. Ten minutes from the Queen Charlotte Track. Complete with two restaurants, a swimming pool and lawn games. Fun and friendly.
  • Lochmara Lodge is another well-priced eco-lodge with flexible room options for couples, families or groups. Arrive by water taxi, seaplane or mountain bike, as there's no road access. Kayak, hike the Queen Charlotte Track or marvel at the lodge's bird conservation projects, as well as its stationary underwater observatory -- one of only two in NZ. Family-run and welcoming.

FOR AN APARTMENT OR HOLIDAY COTTAGE

  • If you'd prefer a self-catering option, we suggest that you visit our online partner Booking.com.

TRAVEL INFORMATION

  • Fly to nearby Blenheim Airport, or to Nelson Airport from Wellington, Christchurch or Auckland and travel to your hotel by bus or taxi. Alternatively, hop aboard the regular ferry from Wellington to Picton.
  • New Zealand is famously wonderful for a road trip! Contact our online partner Rentalcars if you would like to hire a car.
  • Travel during the spring or summer for the best weather, with temperatures peaking around 18-22°C between December and April. For a quieter trip and great deals, look at May or October-November, though these months will be cooler and showers more frequent.

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Best Hotels in Picton

  • Lochmara Lodge Picton (Queen Charlotte Sound) 14 rooms from £70

    Wildlife Area  -  Book a tour of the lodge's stationary underwater observatory — one of 2 in NZ — for a family-friendly insight into marine life
    Birdwatching  -  Witness the amazing dawn chorus & speak to the team about Yellow & Red Crowned Kākariki, Weka & Blue Penguin conservation
    Back to Nature  -  Ideal for keen kayakers, hikers & wildlife enthusiasts eager to stay somewhere remote yet welcoming on the Sounds
    Families  -  Families will appreciate the plethora of activites and the flexible accommodation with multiple beds in studios
    SpaRestaurantGardenViewsNo pets

    Accessed by seaplane or water taxi, this relaxed eco-lodge on Lochmara Bay is perfect for couples, groups or families. Flexible room options have kitchenettes, balconies & simple, traditional interiors. Hike, kayak, paddle board or marvel at the underwater aquarium & conservation projects. Lovely. See More

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  • The Portage Resort Picton (Marlborough Sounds) 41 rooms from £95

    Value chic  -  Simple, budget-friendly rooms and suites in a scenic part of the Sounds. The Weka rooms are the most affordable
    Families  -  Book a two-bedroom Korimako room for a family or group trip, and go kayaking, sailing, hiking and more
    Kayaking  -  Hire kayaks or stand up paddleboards to explore the crystalline waters of the Sounds
    Fishing  -  Try your hand at fishing - the resort has rods suitable for children and adults
    SpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenPet friendlyViews

    A collection of affordable rooms and suites for fun, outdoorsy trips to the Sounds. Bright, modern rooms have great views to Kenepuru Sound - some boast private balconies. With an outdoor swimming pool, spa, gardens and two restaurants, this is a relaxed, family-friendly base. See More

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  • Sennen House Picton 3 rooms from £110

    Local exploring  -  Well-located for hiking the Queen Charlotte Track, sailing & kayaking on the Marlborough Sounds and seeing the wine country
    Romantic Break  -  The Queen Charlotte Sutdio has a carved four-poster bed and private balcony, perfect for a restful romantic retreat
    Other Activities  -  Take a boat ride from Marlborough Sounds to Motuara Island bird sanctuary with Dolphin Watch Ecotours
    Kayaking  -  Paddling in the pristine waters of the Marlborough Sounds is a real treat
    GardenViewsParkingNo pets

    A historic, 1886-built homestead transformed into boutique accommodation in Picton. Four-poster beds, original NZ artworks and elegant furnishings. Formal gardens and Queen Elizabeth II National Trust protected native forest to the rear. Walking distance to restaurants and Queen Charlotte Track. See More

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  • Raetihi Lodge Picton (Kenepuru Sound) 14 rooms from £111

    Groups  -  With up to 14 rooms and the option to book the lodge exclusively, this is a superb group or family holiday choice
    Exclusive use  -  Space for 10–28 guests on a 50-acre estate with a private chef & lots of activities
    Great walks  -  Walk along nearby bush trails, or try a 10km leg of the Queen Charlotte Track
    Kayaking  -  Borrow complimentary kayaks and stand-up paddle boards from the lodge
    RestaurantGardenViewsParkingNo pets

    Luxury lodge on Kenepuru Sound, with chic, comfortable rooms offering sea, garden and hill views. Waterfront restaurant, fishing rods and kayaks for exploring. Close to a 9-hole golf course, Queen Charlotte Track and wineries. Book the whole place for a relaxing escape with family and friends. See More

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  • Kippilaw House Picton 2 rooms from £140

    Cooking classes  -  Hone your cooking skills in a private class with B&B co-owner & cookbook writer Margaret
    Foodies  -  Cooking classes & 4-course Chef's Table dinners are a real treat for keen cooks!
    Other Activities  -  Explore the Marlborough Sounds on day trips with Beachcomber Cruises
    Great walks  -  Hike a portion of the Queen Charlotte Walking Track, which stretches from historic Ship Cove to Anakiwa
    GardenPet friendlyDisabled accessParking

    A charming two-bedroom B&B set in flower-filled gardens in Picton. Rooms features antiques and expansive town & mountain views. Big breakfasts & four-course Chef's Table dinners will delight foodies. Unwind on the terrace, share the suite as a family, or take cooking classes with co-owner Margaret. See More

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  • Escape to Picton Picton 3 rooms from £192

    Foodies  -  Chef Juliearna Kavanagh has a reputation for some of the best food in the Marlborough Sounds are. Seafood dishes are a highlight
    Golf  -  Play 9 holes at Picton Golf Club, take the kids to Sounds Mini Golf or enjoy a round at the world-class Marlborough Golf Course
    Romantic Break  -  Book the Formal Suite for the ultimate romantic escape, complete with a glass of champagne on arrival
    Wine tasting  -  The vineyards of Marlborough’s Wairau and Awatere valleys are a 20 minute drive away
    RestaurantGardenPet friendlyDisabled accessViewsParking

    Fun & lively boutique hotel on Picton's waterfront. Romantic rooms decorated in a neutral palette with opulent accessories including chandeliers, wooden floors and free standing baths. Highly acclaimed on site restaurant for local seafood & more. Great base for exploring Marlborough region. See More

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  • Bay of Many Coves Resort Picton (Arthur's Bay) 11 rooms from £331

    Active Holiday  -  With 52 hectares of coastal grounds, the resort is perfect for active travellers of all ages to sail, kayak, swim & birdwatch
    Groups  -  Families or groups will adore the two- and three-bedroom villas with private terraces and heaps of space
    Birdwatching  -  Kereru, Tui and Weka emerge at dusk on the grounds, whilst the world's only King Cormorant breeding colony is nearby
    Great walks  -  Trails wind through the resort's 52 hectares of private bush, alive with native birds
    SpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels

    Tranquil and private luxury eco-resort with spacious, elegant rooms & apartments. Outdoor decks & huge picture windows make the most of fantastic views over the bay. With a fine dining restaurant, private jetty, hot tub, outdoor swimming pool and 52 hectares of grounds. See More

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  • The Sounds Retreat Picton 1 rooms from £451

    Romantic Break  -  With an outdoor hot tub, complete privacy, massages and candlelit dinners - it doesn't get much more romantic than this
    Fishing  -  Take a private fishing trip to the Tory Channel in the Cook Strait, or north out of Queen Charlotte Sound
    Other Activities  -  Helicopter rides and thrilling skydiving adventures begin from Picton Airport and Motueka
    Wine tasting  -  In a 1985 Land Rover Defender, the private Cloudy Bay Vineyard Tour is fabulous
    Air conditioningGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    A luxury suite overlooking Queen Charlotte Sound, framed by mountains, offering the perfect escape for two. Accommodation is chic and contemporary with picture windows and glass doors leading onto a terrace complete with a hot tub. Fine-dining is offered under the stars. A romantic choice. See More

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  • No Road Inn Picton (Queen Charlotte Track) 5 rooms from £515

    Great walks  -  A perfect starting point for the 60km Queen Charlotte Track, which passes through the backyard
    Sailing  -  Boat trips to Motuara Island, Long Island, Kokomohua Marine Reserve and Ship Cove are superb
    Groups  -  A five-bedroom luxury lodge for exclusvie group or family trips to Queen Charlotte Sound
    Exclusive use  -  A private lodge with space for ten guests
    GardenPet friendlyViewsNo pets

    Accessible only by water taxi, helicopter or on foot, this exclusive-use lodge is the first night's stay along the Queen Charlotte Track. 5 light, airy rooms with private outdoor decks, showers and baths. With an outdoor hot tub, native forest garden, restaurant and wifi. Luxury in the wilderness. See More

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