All these places and the activities listed are within a few hours drive of Picton.
Use Jugglers Rest as a base from which to explore or use the following information to decide where your next stop off point will be.
Famous for it’s abundant marine life, stunning location, and surfing, Kaikoura is one of the best places in the world to swim with dolphins and seals, and see close up a variety of rare wildlife including orca, sperm whales, albatross and dusky dolphins.
Kaikoura is 2 ½ hours drive from Picton. The road takes you through Marlborough’s famous wine growing region before reaching the coast, where the road is sandwiched between the impressive Seaward Kaikoura Range of mountains (2,500m) and the rugged coastline of the Pacific Ocean.
The Tranz-coastal railway also runs from Picton to Kaikoura. From the train’s viewing platform you can really make the most of the truly stunning views.
(Pictured above: Whale bone walk, Kaikoura)
Havelock via the Queen Charlotte Drive
Havelock is the green-shelled mussel capital of New Zealand and you’ll be hard pushed to find a fresher feed of mussels unless you go out and pick them yourself. It can be reached from Picton via the picturesque Queen Charlotte Drive. This 1 hour drive winds its way up and down, giving spectacular views of bays, beaches and inlets in the Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds.
(Pictured left: Tree fern on Queen Charlotte Drive)
Nelson Lakes National Park
Situated at the northernmost Southern Alps and approximately 1 ¾ hours drive from Picton, this area offers a beautiful retreat at any time of the year. There are plenty of good walks and bike tracks through the mountains, beech forest and around the lake foreshores. On the lakes, water skiing, boating and trout fishing is available. During the winter St Arnaud, the main village in the Nelson Lakes area is the stop off point for The Rainbow Ski-field, which is open between Mid July and September each year and offers some of the best skifield views in New Zealand.
Walks /Mountain Biking
The Richmond Ranges
This area, a 45 minute drive from Picton, offers a wide selection of wilderness walks, from beech forests and river walks to mountain top views of the Wairau Plains and beyond to the Kaikoura Coastline and Nelson ranges.
The Cullensville Track
Half an hours drive from Picton, Cullensville is now the historic site of an old goldrush town. The track weaves along a river valley and up and over a mountain range, offering a challenging one day mountain bike ride and pleasant walk. On the way there is evidence of recent but now deserted settlements and at the start old photo boards depict the once thriving community that lived there.
The Nydia Track
This 27 kms long track (one way) begins not far from Havelock, (an hours drive away) where you can catch a minibus to the start of the track. The suggested walking time is 2 days or 10 ½ hours (each way) and the track offers some stunning views and virgin coastal forest walking. It is an intermediate and technical mountain bike ride.
The Pelorus Track is an hours drive from Picton, following the Pelorus river and then heading over the Dunn Saddle this is a three to four day walk in Mt Richmond Forest Park along the route of an historic railway line and finishes just outside of Nelson.
Mount Stokes Track (1023 m) is a half-day walk, starting in the beautiful Marlborough Sounds – a 2 hour scenic drive from Picton. The summit is the highest point in The Marlborough Sounds and from it on a clear day it is possible to see the Kaikouras and even the mountain range of the Tararuas in the North island.
(Left: Sunrise view from Mt Stokes)
The Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway
This is one of New Zealand’s best easy scenic round walks taking 1 ½ to 3 hrs. Stunning views of the Pacific coastline can be seen from the cliff top walk Timed right with tides you can then return along the beach, getting up close and personal with the seals and nesting gulls and cormorants
Mt Fyffe– 10 minute drive from Kaikoura
A more challenging walk, this can be done with an overnight stop in the Fyffe Hut or you can push on to do it in a day (around a 7 hour walk). It gives impressive views of the peninsula and plains – on a clear day as far as the Banks Peninsula to the south and Cape Palliser on the North Island.