Thursday, December 22, 2011

Picton for Kids

Road tripping with kids? Picton is a town that is delightful for the youngins- not too big, not too small, huge ferries to watch, on the water's edge for swimming, beautiful scenery to distract mum and dad and, most importantly, the just-for kids features in the town centre. There are numerous holiday parks and campgrounds in the area, making it an easy choice as a destination. If you are coming over from Wellington on the ferry, stay a few days before moving on- this town is one of the most charming you will find in the South Island.

Picton- notice the small lake on the foreshore
by Phillip Capper Flickr Creative Commons

On the foreshore, there is a small train which has upheld a tradition of entertaining small people for decades. The Little Train of Picton runs every Sunday and every school or public holiday. Costing a whopping 20 cents, the ride takes the littlies around a small lake, over a bridge and under a "waterfall," even through a tiny forest. Whilst not the most thrilling of rides, it is a delightful few minutes for a child, and rather adorable to watch from, the adult perspective.

Also on offer at the foreshore are model sailing boats, which are extremely simple in their design- no electrics, no remote control, just two sails and the wind. For hire at 20 cents, the children simple put them in the manmade lake (the same lake which the Little Train circles), let them go and run to catch them on the other side. My twelve year old self thought this was absolutely wicked.

At the more high-end end of the spectrum, there is the Kiwi Mini Golf, also on the foreshore, dolphin-watching and the like. However, a child in Picton will be happy with their 20 cent train ride, 20 cent boat hire and watching the ferries come in. Maybe throw a swim and an icecream in there.

So don't miss Picton if you are campervanning with kids, it is a beautiful and entertaining spot!

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