Picton to Nelson





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Traveling from Picton to Nelson in a motorhome presents an opportunity to experience the best of New Zealand’s Marlborough and Nelson-Tasman regions.

Picton: Starting with Seaside Charm Picton, the gateway to the South Island from the North, is a charming seaside town and the entry point to the Marlborough Sounds. For a dining experience, ‘Le Café’ offers waterfront views and fresh local cuisine. In terms of activities, ‘Marlborough Sounds Adventure Company’ provides kayaking and hiking tours, allowing you to explore the intricate waterways and lush coastal forests of the Sounds. Additionally, ‘EcoWorld Picton Aquarium’ offers insights into local marine life.

Blenheim: A Wine Lover’s Paradise Blenheim, the heart of the Marlborough wine region, is a short drive from Picton and an essential stop for wine enthusiasts. ‘Arbour’ serves innovative dishes made with local ingredients, perfectly paired with regional wines. Wine tours are a must in Blenheim, and ‘Marlborough Wine Tours’ offers guided tours of the famous vineyards and cellars, including iconic estates like ‘Cloudy Bay’ and ‘Brancott Estate’.

Havelock: The Green Mussel Capital As you continue toward Nelson, a stop in Havelock, known as the “Greenshell Mussel Capital of the World”, is highly recommended. ‘The Mussel Pot’ in Havelock specializes in fresh, local mussels prepared in various styles. For an aquatic adventure, ‘Pelorus Mail Boat’ offers a unique way to see the Pelorus Sound and its secluded bays, combining a scenic cruise with a glimpse into the lives of the people who live in the remote areas of the Sounds.

Pelorus Bridge: Natural Beauty and River Adventures The Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve is a natural haven, perfect for a lunch stop amid native forests. Here, ‘Pelorus Bridge Café’ offers delightful meals in a serene setting. The reserve is famous for its crystal-clear waters and native bush, ideal for a short walk or swim. For a memorable experience, ‘Pelorus Eco Adventures’ provides guided river tours, including locations used in the filming of ‘The Hobbit’.

Nelson: Artistic Flair and Golden Beaches Arriving in Nelson, known for its vibrant arts scene and stunning beaches, you’ll find an array of dining options. ‘Hopgood’s & Co’ is renowned for its fine dining and locally sourced ingredients, while ‘Jellyfish Café and Bar’ in nearby Mapua offers casual dining with waterfront views. Nelson is also the gateway to three national parks, including Abel Tasman National Park. Here, companies like ‘Wilson’s Abel Tasman’ offer a range of tours, from scenic cruises to guided kayak trips and hikes. ‘The Suter Art Gallery’ in Nelson provides a cultural experience with its collection of contemporary and historical art.

Mapua: A Coastal Gem Mapua, a coastal village on the way to Nelson, boasts the ‘Mapua Wharf’, home to a variety of boutiques, galleries, and eateries. ‘The Apple Shed Café & Bar’ is a local favorite for its fresh seafood and relaxed atmosphere. For a leisurely activity, ‘Wheelie Fantastic Cycle Hire & Tours’ offers bike rentals and custom cycling tours around the area, providing an excellent way to explore the Tasman’s Great Taste Trail.

Kaiteriteri: Gateway to Abel Tasman Just before reaching Nelson, Kaiteriteri is a popular beach destination and a launching point for trips into Abel Tasman National Park. ‘Shoreline Café’ in Kaiteriteri offers stunning sea views and a range of New Zealand cuisine. ‘Kaiteriteri Kayaks’ provides guided kayaking tours in the national park, a peaceful way to explore the beautiful coastline and its golden beaches.

Nelson: A Final Stop of Discovery In Nelson, explore the city’s bustling art and craft markets, or visit ‘Founders Park’, a living history museum. Dining at ‘Boat Shed Café’ with its waterfront location and fresh local produce is a delightful way to conclude your journey.

This motorhome journey from Picton to Nelson offers a rich tapestry of experiences, from the serene beauty of the Marlborough Sounds to the artistic and culinary delights of Nelson. Whether indulging in the finest seafood, savoring world-class wines, or exploring golden beaches and lush national parks, this route is a showcase of the South Island’s diverse allure.


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