Picton is a picturesque and bustling port town located deep in the Marlborough Sounds. Once a center for whaling, Picton now plays host to the regular ferry corssings between the South and North Islands of New Zealand. From fishing, to kayaking, to hiking and of course to some fantastic mountain biking, Picton can offer it all. Did we mention it's one of the sunniest places in New Zealand? Perfect.

The Queen Charlotte Track that is perhaps the town's biggest draw, a 71km dual purpose (walking and mountain biking) track stretching from Ship Cove to Anakiwa, the track is wide enough to accommodate both hikers and bikers. Apart from some challenging sections including some tough climbs, those of average fitness should be able to enjoy this ride comfortably over two days. The option of lodge accommodation and a pack carrying service, make this a dream of a ride.

Picton is just 30 minutes from Blenheim, 1.5 hours from Nelson, 2 hours from Kaikoura, and 4 hours from Christchurch. Picton offers up a range of accommodation and eateries (with world renowned seafood) to suit everyone's budget and taste, and is an ideal location from which to explore the Marlborough Sounds and tackle the Queen Charlotte Track.

Photos courtesy of Richard Briggs Photography.