Picton was a very pleasant surprise and a thoroughly enjoyable community. It is a community of some 3600 people - the smallest place we would visit. But it is important in New Zealand and sits in one of the most beautiful areas of the country.


The Port of Picton serves ferries connecting the populous North Island to the scenic South Island. The town sits at the head of Queen Charlotte Sound, and provides a natural deep water harbor. Most people who come to Picton are on their way somewhere else. That is too bad.


The little town has much to offer. This is its main street with little shops and sidewalk cafes on either side. The harbor (seen above) is home to lots of sail boats and pleasure craft of all sorts. Many New Zealanders come to the town in the summer months for recreation.


We landed on a Sunday morning and went to Church at St. Timothy's Anglican Church just a short walk from the town center. We were very warmly welcomed by the congregation, and heard a fine sermon given by a lay woman. The Church is going though a change of rectors at the moment. But that didn't seem to affect their life as a community.


Along the harbor is a wonderful park. On Sunday morning it was filled with families enjoying the warm sun. Jim was very interested in a miniature train run by local model railroaders for the benefit of the children. The rides cost 20 cents in New Zealand money - about 12 cents American.


In the afternoon, we were able to go to a Maori Marae - a meeting place - for a formal ceremony of welcome, and a time of song and dance and refreshments. A part of the "welcome" for strangers involves a challenge by a fierce Maori warrior. Once admitted, however, the strangers enjoy a happy experience of Maori culture. Take a look at the Marae!

Close Map