Resting in the still waters of Picton Harbour is a tiny island, named after the daughter of the governor that chose Picton’s name.
For years Mabel Island was a tiny agricultural hamlet, located in the heart of Picton Harbour. Surrounded by the calm water of the Queen Charlotte Sound and watched over by the towering mountains that flank Picton, the island has long been a prime piece of real estate. Glide past the island aboard a sea kayak to get a closer view or capture photos of its forested shores aboard a chartered boat tour.
Today, Mabel Island is no longer farmed and is a largely forested area. It’s visible from Picton’s harbour-front precinct. See the inter-island ferry passing the island closely as it makes its way to and from Wellington on the North Island. Rent a sea kayak to explore the waters of Queen Charlotte Sound. Paddle into the inlets and rocky banks of Mabel Island for a closer look.
After admiring the small island, spend some time exploring the harbour precinct. Visit the Picton War Memorial or the Edwin Fox Maritime Museum, which is housed on the world’s 9th-oldest ship. A range of restaurants and cafés line the harbour. Many of these establishments offer views of Mabel Island. Sample locally produced wines from the Marlborough region, which is known around the world for its stunning white wines.
Mabel Island is located just offshore from Victoria Domain and can be seen by boat, kayak or from land.