Best things to see, do and eat in Picton, Marlborough region, New Zealand: Expert expat travel tips

THE EXPAT

Born in New Zealand, Jessica Jones' family moved to Portland, on Victoria's Great Ocean Road, when she was just a year old. However, she says when she had her own daughter, she and her husband moved back to New Zealand for the relaxed lifestyle. She has lived in Picton for nine years, and manages Beachcomber Cruises and Picton Water Taxis, beachcombercruises.co.nz

SEE

The Marlborough Sounds make up 20 per cent of New Zealand's coastline, and a must-visit site is Historic Ship Cove. This remote tranquil place is a significant place to Maori and Europeans, yet few people are there at any one time. Surrounded by native bush and sparkling waters, this secluded site visit is worth the one-hour boat ride.

DO

My favourite local place is the top of the Tirohanga Track. This round loop takes approximately an hour to walk. With 30 minutes of incline by the time you get to the top, you are ready for a rest. There is a seat at the top, with breathtaking (literally) views over Picton through to the sounds, for layers upon layers of views.

DRINK

Café Cortardo ison High Street, with waterfront views. Grab a cold Peckhams cider (from the top of the South Island) and sit outside under the umbrella and take in the comings and goings of the town, while still watching the seaside views and boats. See cafecortado.co.nz

EAT

My favourite go-to place to eat is Oxley's Bar & Kitchen. Grab a window seat or outdoors for great views over the harbour, beautiful décor and an historical façade. I highly recommend the pork belly salad. See oxleys.co.nz

AVOID

Over the summer season, on particular days we have large cruise ships in port and town is often buzzing, so it's a good idea to plan a trip out to the Queen Charlotte Track on these days and avoid the queue at SCOOP ice-cream shop. Yes, it is so good that cruise passengers are lining up for it.

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