Today, we explore the port of Picton, our last stop on the South Island. It should be a really nice day with temps almost 80 degrees. Picton is a seaside port on the Queen Charlotte Sound; it's defined by water, wilderness, and wine. Lots of bays, inlets, and coves provide activities for water lovers. It's also the departure point for ferries across Cook Strait to the capital, Wellington. The town, with strong Maori heritage, was settled by the English in 1848. Picton was named after Sir Thomas Picton, a British Army official who served under the Duke of Wellington; he was killed at Waterloo in 1815.
The Marlborough region is famous for wine. The first vines were planted in 1973 by Montana and today, it's New Zealand's largest grape and wine producing region. Known for Sauvignon Blanc, but you can also find a bewildering array of all types of wines available here.
Our tour took us through the fertile Wairau Valley to Blenheim in the heart of the acclaimed wine region. We were able to sample all kinds of wine and had a stop at The Vines, a collection of unique shops and wine tasting opportunities. To work off the calories, we had a nice stroll through Pollard Park, with its beautiful roses, trees, ponds and ducks. A nice break for sure.
We walked around the little town of Picton, sparsely populated except when the cruise ships are in town. There are actually more people on the cruise ship than live in Picton. However, it was a lovely place to take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront.
We've never seen so much wood in one place. Forestry is a thriving business here. Massive amounts of wood was piled up at the port waiting for transport to China and other destinations. Back on board, we had a wonderful dinner. The entertainment show featured a talented pianist, Van-Anh Nguyen in a show titled Around the World in 88 Keys.
We will be in Wellington tomorrow.