Lee Abbamonte

Picton, New Zealand: Gateway to Marlborough Sounds

Friday, July 26, 2019
By Azamara

Picton, New Zealand is a cute little town. It's also an important port that connects New Zealand's South Island to Wellington, and the North Island. And more importantly for cruisers, it's the gateway to both the renowned Marlborough wine region and the beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound. I’ve been through Picton a few times over the years but this was the first time I’ve ever really spent time in the town itself.

The Azamara Quest docked right in Picton, just steps from the center of town so I was able to walk around the little town center set on a bustling harbor. I even got a haircut in town from a lovely woman who was convinced the pizza in New Zealand is better than the pizza in New York…let’s just say we agreed to disagree! Picton, New Zealand itself is only home to about 4,000 people but it is an important gateway to both islands of New Zealand.

After spending some time in town, I took a small cruise boat around the Queen Charlotte Sound. I love taking small boats and cruising around little islands and islets because you usually see some cool wildlife, neat houses, and great views. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate so the views were not that great. Instead, we focused on checking out the environmentally friendly houses and jetties that dot the coastline. 

After the cruise, our tour group hopped on a bus to visit some of the beautiful wineries in Marlborough. The Marlborough region of New Zealand and its 150 wineries produce over 43 billion liters of wine each year and is particularly known for its chardonnay.

Picton, New Zealand is a very small place but a great jumping-off point for exploring New Zealand. If you find yourself here, take a half-day to explore the town - you won't be disappointed. Azamara has three upcoming voyages calling on Picton - see them here.

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