Picture-Perfect Picton, New Zealand

Jessica Peterson

When I think of port towns, my mind gravitates toward images of feculent water and grimy sea towns rather than say, Portofino. How pleasantly surprised I was to arrive in Picton after the stomach-wrenching ferry ride across the Cook Straight. Picton’s portside park is, as you can see, intensely beautiful with manicured lawns, flowering everything, and a smattering of charming coffee shops and cafes alongside.

We passed through Picton twice — coming and going between North and South Islands. We didn’t even mind when our ferry was delayed there for a few hours. We simply spread out on the immaculate greens and watched the moonlight tickle the water, burying our noses in a blanket to keep the chill at bay. You call this a layover?


Lunch at Cortado Restaurant, Bar & Cafe


Photography by Jessica Peterson


  1. Raghav
    February 16, 2017 at 2:31 am

    Picture perfect Picton – water side quaint towns are just splendid and add to that the natural beauty of NZ and it’s mesmerizing. Loved the photographs especially of the sunset with that beautiful sky.

  2. Raymond Carroll
    February 16, 2017 at 8:18 am

    What a beautiful location Picton is. And as usual your pictures are superb! I have friends in New Zealand and I’ve been threatening to go for a few years now. I’m going to try and make it happen! Next year is my goal!

  3. Swati Sammie
    February 16, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Picton is so picturesque. Have never been to NZ but road trip in NZ is definitely on our top 10 list of places to visit. Some amazing captures.

  4. James Smith
    February 16, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    The lunch at Cortado looks delicious and the beer looks very refreshing! You captured Picton magically with your camera. My favourite picture is the one of the flowers with the garden blur in the background, I love low aperture pictures.

  5. Gemma
    February 16, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    This is super pretty, like you I normally picture port towns being ugly and a lot of containers. I love the sunset shots! The colours are so vibrant in your pictures.

  6. Janine Good
    Janine GoodReply
    February 16, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    I just got back from NZ and I am sad I missed out on Picton! I am so hungry after seeing your lunch of salmon and asparagus. The portside park is gorgeous – I love parks that are full of lush greenery and flowers. I hope to go back to NZ someday.

  7. Jackie Taylor
    Jackie TaylorReply
    February 16, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    Picton looks like a gorgeous place to visit in NZ! All of your photos do such an amazing job of capturing all of the beautiful colours and scenery. My favourite shot is definitely the sunset one with the harbour behind the palmtrees!

  8. Ling Ge
    February 17, 2017 at 2:15 am

    We’re heading to New Zealand next month. Picton looks like a nice place to stop along the way when we go from the north to south island. The food at Cortado Restaurant looks delicious and the landscape looks amazing. Hopefully we’ll get to check it out!

  9. CHRISTIE ✈︎travel photographer
    February 17, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    So happy to have stumbled upon this!!! I’m going to New Zealand in April and have done barely any research… I see you have quite a few posts on NZ so I’m going to go explore those next! I don’t have Picton on my list but it looks beautiful 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    • Jessica Peterson
      February 20, 2017 at 8:34 pm

      You can’t go wrong with any destination in NZ. Happy travels, Christie!

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