Compare Picton Car Rental Deals
Big savings on car hire at Picton
Compare the best Picton Ferry Terminal car rental deals from Avis, Hertz, Budget, Thrifty, Dollar, Europcar, Ace, Big Value & Omega Car Rental.
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Renting a Car at the Picton Ferry Terminal
Separating New Zealand's South Island and North Island is the famous Cook Strait. The options for crossing from Wellington are either fly to Blenheim or take one of the Cook Strait ferries from Wellington to Picton.
Most people choose to take the ferry because Cook Strait is one of the most spectacular ferry crossings in the world. The journey through the beautiful Marlborough Sounds is breath-taking.
Some car rental firms will allow you to take your car from Wellington to Picton on the ferry. This is really convenient — on arrival in Picton you simply drive off the ferry and head on your way.
But taking your rental car on the ferry can get quite expensive. The cost depends on the size of your vehicle. A one-way trip for a car, including the driver, is between $175-$255. Campervans can cost up to $405.
There's an alternative option which will save you money. And that's not to take your rental car on the ferry. Instead, drop off your North Island rental car in Wellington and then collect a new rental car when you land in Picton at the ferry terminal.
Obviously, this is not as convenient because it involves unpacking and repacking your car — something that is a hassle if you're travelling with lots of gear or kids.
If this option does suit you then we have a range different car rental brands you can rent from the Picton Ferry Terminal. But be aware that these book out months in advance, so early bookings are essential,
Car Rental Brands
There's a range of car hire companies operating at the Picton Ferry Terminal. You'll find them here and can easily compare their best deals in one place. This means you don't have waste time trawling the Internet looking for options. Or have to pay exorbitant walk-up prices at the rental counter.
To maximise your savings it's a good idea to book your car early, especially for travel during peak periods when rental vehicle availability can be extremely limited. Just put your travel details into the Search box at the top of the page to instantly compare a huge choice of vehicles at the very best prices.
Use our price comparison search tool to find the best prices for these car rental brands at Picton:
Maximum Choice. Best Deals.
I tried Mates Rates after reading some positive reviews. Was not disappointed! You can spend a lot of time searching for a rental car, but found the best deal there
Best deal we could find after looking at all the rental car websites.
Quick and easy
Best site to compare car rental prices and get the best offers
Easy, I had no problems at all. Prices seemed to be ok. I didn't check others. Definitely recommend.
Better prices and variety than going direct
Best car hire rate I could find. Recommended to a friend and she said same.
Very easy to use. Really good specials for a run around car. Would recommend.
Easy to compare the different rental companies in one place. Lots of choice which is great. Prices seemed cheaper than other sites including when I looked at booking direct
Second time I’ve used MateRates. Always a good deal.
Great value! I'll be telling my friends.
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Easy and efficient. Competitive prices with good choices. Worth a try.
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We booked ahead from Germany. Prices very reasonable, and a good choice of cars. Saved us time and money — would use again.
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Attractions around picton
A rental car gives you the freedom and flexibility to make the most of your time exploring Picton and surrounding areas. Here are a few of the many attractions around Picton you might like to consider checking out. For more ideas, check out the official Destination Marlborough website....
Queen Charlotte Track
Stretching for 70 km from Ship Cove to Anakiwa, the iconic Queen Charlotte Track is nature at its best. If you love the great outdoors, this glorious track should definitely be part of your Blenheim itinerary.
Encounter fantails, weka, and tui birdlife in the lush rainforest and native bush. You’ll walk along hills and valleys through rimu and beech, nikau palms and manuka, and every so often, the views open up to sparkling coves and beaches.
The Queen Charlotte Track takes three to five days to complete. You can camp at rustic campsites (courtesy of the Department of Conservation), go the B&B/homestay route, or luxuriate in the comfort of resorts along the way. Your luggage can even be transported from point to point via boat on your behalf so you don’t bite off more than you can chew.
There are various entry and exit points to the Queen Charlotte Track — many at inlets accessible by boat, adding an interesting leg to your journey — so you can hike a small section to fit your schedule if the full walk doesn’t appeal. The terrain is easy to walk and you can take your time to admire the views and scenery along the Queen Charlotte Track.
The Queen Charlotte Track also lends itself perfectly to riding, and in the warmer months hikers find themselves sharing the trail with eager mountain bikers. It is one of New Zealand’s designated Great Rides, and it’s also one of the longest stretches of continuous single track in the nation.
Wondering how to get to the Queen Charlotte Track? Many companies offer sea transport to various points along the trail. Driving to Anakiwa is just half an hour from Picton.
Sailing the Sounds
Combined, Queen Charlotte, Kenepuru and Pelorus Sounds make up the Marlborough Sounds. All up, its extensive waterways comprise a full fifth of New Zealand’s total coastline!
Charter a sailboat, book a day or overnight cruise … whatever option you pick, seeing the sounds from the water is an unbeatable experience. You’ll pass amazing coastal landscapes and share the ocean with all sorts of birds and sea creatures. There’s an abundance of marine wildlife to be found around the Marlborough Sounds, from dolphins to fur seals, and even orca occasionally. There are also countless species of seabirds to be seen.
Another popular tourist option aboard local vessels is a cruise that includes a stop at Ship Cove. Originally named by Captain James Cook, Ship Cove is where his ship (the Endeavour) anchored to stock up on supplies. Cook favoured this spot so much that he returned a few more times. A monument has been erected here in his honour, and the area is recognised due to its historic significance as a place where two cultures met during early times — settlers and local indigenous people.
In the outer parts of Queen Charlotte Sound lie four untouched islands — home to endangered wildlife like the brown kiwi and the green gecko. Many eco tours will take you to these sanctuary reserves to see the local conservation efforts in action.
The fishing is rich here if you want to try your luck at catching snapper. Or visit a mussel farm via a Greenshell Mussel Cruise, including sampling the local delicacy first-hand (this is the mussel capital of the world, after all).
Another unique sightseeing option in the Marlborough Sounds is the internationally famous Pelorus Mail Run. What’s that all about? On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays tourists can join this boat run, which delivers mail and supplies to rural homesteads dotted around the bays and inlets. It’s a little slice of history that lives on today.
The Marlborough Sounds enjoy a surprisingly sheltered outlook, which means cruise tours are rarely affected by adverse weather. Most cruises leave from Picton, with further departure options from bases at Havelock or Waikawa (just a short drive away in your rental car).
Picton Heritage and Whaling Museum
Just a five-minute walk from the Interislander Ferry (or a five minutes drive from the Bluebridge Ferry), you’ll find the Picton Heritage and Whaling Museum. It’s the perfect stop to spend some time waiting for your ferry. But it’s also worth visiting if you are interested in learning about the early settlement of Picton (Waitohi) and finding out more about the history of whaling in the Cook Strait.
The Marlborough Sounds were central to early New Zealand whaling in the 19th and 20th centuries. Tory Channel — one of the valleys in the Marlborough Sounds — was the heart of the country’s most intensive whaling operations. Until, that is, commercial whaling came to a halt as late as 1964.
In addition to a comprehensive display of the history of whaling in the area, the museum tells the story of the families who lived in the town, and how Picton came to be. Displays include significant Maori (Te Atiawa) history and artefacts, as well as documentation of maritime activities in the Sounds.
The museum, located on Picton’s foreshore at 9 London Quay, is open daily (except for Christmas).
Located between Picton and Waikawa, Victoria Domain enjoys an elevated outlook, overlooking Picton’s harbour and picturesque Queen Charlotte Sound. Its forested grounds cover 200 hectares and offer lots of recreational opportunities. Pick a spot (any spot) for a picnic, go stargazing at night from the lookout, stroll through the reserve or make use of the network of biking tracks.
If you’re taking on Victoria Domain on foot, you’ll be richly rewarded by stunning scenic views of the sparkling sea and rolling hills. The Harbour View Track will take about an hour, and you’ll no doubt want to pause for photo stops at every opportunity. The Marina to Marina trail is another track with an easy grade, running between Picton and Waikawa Marina. Conveniently, the trail begins at Picton Marina, close to the ferry terminal and our rental car depot. Climb to the top of a ridge and watch the ferries come and go. Or spend a bit more time ambling along the Snout Track — perfect for whiling away an afternoon. Weaving through native bush, it ends at the headland, with panoramic views over Queen Charlotte Sound.
Happen to have brought your own set of two wheels? You can ride on many of the same tracks, sharing them with walkers and joggers. There are several mountain biking trails along the bottom of Victoria Domain as well as within it. Generally, they are suitable for all ages and riding skill levels, so the whole family can enjoy it regardless of experience.