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Shelley Beach and Bob’s Bay, Picton

Shelley Beach and Bob’s Bay, Picton
If you’re only in Picton for a short time — maybe you’re on a cruise ship or waiting for the ferry to Wellington — the short walk to Shelley Beach and Bob’s Bay is a good way to kill a couple of hours. From Bob’s Bay you can continue on to the Snout Track for even better views of Queen Charlotte Sound.

Shelley Beach

Shelley Beach is the closest beach to downtown Picton. You can walk there in a few minutes, but proximity to town isn’t the only thing going for it. It’s actually a really nice beach — one of the best we saw in the Marlborough Sounds in fact. It’s a nice place for a picnic on a warm day and there are good walks nearby. You can also drive straight to the beach (via the marina).
Shelley Beach, Picton, New Zealand

Bob’s Bay

There’s a fairly straightforward track between Shelley Beach and Bob’s Bay. It’s suitable for most levels of fitness, but there is a little bit of uphill walking involved. It’s known as the “lower track”, while there is also an upper track you can check out.
The track to Bob's Bay, Picton, New Zealand
You can get a great view of Bob’s Bay from above and then walk down to the beach. It’s quite popular (especially when there is a cruise ship in port) but it is a great spot. It was a bit grey when we were there but I can imagine it looking a lot nicer on a sunny day.
Bob's Bay, Picton, New Zealand
A nice beach near Picton, New Zealand

Continuing on from Bob’s Bay

From Bob’s Bay you can head up the hill to a viewpoint above Picton Harbour. You can also join up with the Snout Track, which I highly recommend. There are various tracks (both walking and mountain bike) in this area between Picton and Waikawa Bay. There is also the Tirohanga Track which takes you far above Picton for awesome views. Whether you’re in Picton for a few hours or a few days you’ll find plenty of things to do.
Stunning view from the track to Bob's Bay, Picton

Getting to Shelley Beach and Bob’s Bay

You can easily walk to Shelley Beach from the centre of Picton. From there it’s a short walk to Bob’s Bay. Most people arrive in Picton before or after crossing between the North and South Islands, although there is a decent sized airport nearby in Nelson.
Are you planning a trip to the Marlborough Sounds? Check out this amazing drive to French Pass (some of the best coastal views in New Zealand!).
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Jon Algie

I'm a South Island local -- born in Timaru and raised in Dunedin. I left the island in 2006 and returned 10 years later. Having seen a good chunk of the world I realised how special this place is -- the most beautiful island in the world! Seven years (and almost 400 posts) later I'm still helping locals and tourists alike plan their trips around the South Island.