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Picton - 25 March excursion choices

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We will be calling at Picton on 25 March, and the ship offers two excursion choices:

•  Queen Charlotte Cruise & Walk (3.5 hr, €85) – 45 min. cruise across Queen Charlotte Sound to Mistletoe Bay, then 1 1/2 hour walking tour on Queen Charlotte Track into the James Vogel Reserve, then longer cruise back whilst 'exploring some secluded bays only accessible by boat'

•  Sheep Farm & Winery (7.0 hr, €160) – Winterhome sheep farm for sheep dog demo and sheep shearing, stroll through Winterhome Garden [what will be in bloom at this date?], lunch at The Store on the Kaikoura Coast, wine tasting at Hans Herzog Winery

 

Both sound interesting, and we have OBC to burn – so I'm asking for advice.  Particularly whether the formal gardens will be worth seeing on 25 March [which I believe is the antipodean equivalent of Sept 25 in NY where we live, when not much is still blooming].

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I don’t know f it interests you but we have done a couple of fish farm tours in Picton.

One leaves from Picton and another drives through wineries for a hour.

 I f you like fresh seafood,they are fantastic as they cook it up on the boat for lunch.

 

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Posted (edited)

We ended up missing Milford Sound and instead docked at Picton in January.  I (on my own) did a cruise (Cougar Line) on one of the boats that deliver packages.  I don't think it went to Mistletoe Bay, but it did advertise that it went to "secluded bays" and I found them to be interesting and fun, but not overly fantastic.  For the cost, and for something I had to plan with only a day's advance notice, I guess it was worthwhile but certainly not a highlight of my trip.  My pictures are on my photo (pbase.com/roothy123) site under the "Picton" gallery.  

 

The sheep farm sounds better to me, but obviously, I haven't visited it, so can't say for sure how it would compare with one of the many cruises that are offered (mail boats, package delivery boats, boats to Captain Cook monument site, etc.)

 

The good news is that Picton itself is a pretty, well-kept place.  You can spend a half day there walking around taking pictures (if that interests you), eating lunch (kind of pricey), etc.  Some kind of quirky finds for me off the beaten track were an old church and a thrift store.  (New Zealand was colder than I anticipated; bought some longer, heavier pants!)  Oh, and the walk back from town is easy - follow the blue line on the streets/sidewalks!  A shuttle was offered as well.

Edited by roothy123

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2 hours ago, roothy123 said:

We ended up missing Milford Sound and instead docked at Picton in January.  I (on my own) did a cruise (Cougar Line) on one of the boats that deliver packages.  I don't think it went to Mistletoe Bay, but it did advertise that it went to "secluded bays" and I found them to be interesting and fun, but not overly fantastic.  For the cost, and for something I had to plan with only a day's advance notice, I guess it was worthwhile but certainly not a highlight of my trip.  My pictures are on my photo (pbase.com/roothy123) site under the "Picton" gallery.  

 

The sheep farm sounds better to me, but obviously, I haven't visited it, so can't say for sure how it would compare with one of the many cruises that are offered (mail boats, package delivery boats, boats to Captain Cook monument site, etc.)

 

The good news is that Picton itself is a pretty, well-kept place.  You can spend a half day there walking around taking pictures (if that interests you), eating lunch (kind of pricey), etc.  Some kind of quirky finds for me off the beaten track were an old church and a thrift store.  (New Zealand was colder than I anticipated; bought some longer, heavier pants!)  Oh, and the walk back from town is easy - follow the blue line on the streets/sidewalks!  A shuttle was offered as well.

 

Thanks.  I checked out all your pictures of the ports we will be visiting; it was very helpful.  Our Ponant ship is currently doing the reverse of our itinerary, so the Shorex people on board should be able to advise us about the state of the garden at Winterhome – and if the temps are like what you had I'd rather be on land than a small boat!

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Yes, I usually prefer land based to boat based tours.  And going into/out of Picton, you'll likely see some of the same scenery you would see on most of those boat tours.  

 

There WAS a hop on hop off (sort of!!) bus that went to a couple wineries, a museum, and some things to see in a nearby city other than Picton.  I considered doing that but ruled it out as I'm not a winery lover.  Finding something wonderful to see in Picton was a bit challenging for me. 

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