• Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:


  • RT Distance:

    7.5 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    423.2 Feet

Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Picnic Area

Located just outside of Picton, this hike offers the best views of the sound with the least amount of effort. Gorgeous sweeping views of the Queen Charlotte Sound and a little glimpse of Picton. Well maintained track and picnic tables at the top offer a perfect spot to bring a snack along.

This great track is located just outside of downtown Picton, offering very easy accessibility and a great place to get a little hike. Heading east out of Picton, turn left on Sussex road, and follow the steep hill up to the crest, keep driving until you come to a gate, this is the car park for The Snout track.

When you park your car, you will have about a 10 minute walk along the gravel road before you actually get to the start of the track. At the very end of the gravel road there are two mountain bike tracks and one track that goes through a wooden gate, go through the wooden gate in the woods to start The Snout.

Once you reach the wooded area, you will climb steadily with a few parts where it levels out for a short bit. As you get closer to the top, you will be greeted with amazing views of the sounds, and if you look behind you, you will catch a little glimpse of part of Picton snuggled into the harbor. the total time from the start of the trees to reach the top part of the hike with the first picnic table and the toilet is about 25-30 minutes. The track is partly wooded and partly exposed on the hillside, far above the water below. When you reach the lookout, there is a great little sign pointing out all of the landmarks, including Mt. Stokes, the highest elevation in the sounds. You can eat your lunch here, or you can continue down the trail to the Snout head.

If you choose to continue, you will start to descend down towards the water. This part of the track is mostly wooded and will take about 35 minutes to cruise down to the water. This section of the track offers a more interesting example of the New Zealand native bush. Far more ferns are present, including large amounts of the Silver Fern. Once you reach the end, there is a little grassy knoll with another picnic table that offers another great spot to enjoy your lunch. For the brave, you can venture down to the waters edge via a little path that is quite steep and requires some scrambling.

The track is very easy to follow, very well maintained, and no turn offs. There are no DOC Orange triangles for two reasons. The first is that they are not needed, very self explanatory. The second is that this is not a DOC tracked, it is maintained by the Picton community to offer people a free hike to enjoy.

This hike is either going up or down, there is very little flat sections anywhere on this track. Take note, the distance is all the way to the Snout Head and back, the elevation is from the car park to the top. If you go down to the Snout head, you will be going down to the waters edge and back all the way to the top. So your elevation will just about triple as the car park is well above the sea level.

Whether you stay at the top and enjoy more of an aerial view, or continue down to the waters edge for a more level view, you cannot go wrong. This hike is perfect if you just got off the ferry and want to explore a bit, or it is perfect if you need to kill some time before the ferry departs. Lots of restaurants in downtown Picton offer a great spot for a beer and some food to rehydrate and replenish your energy after you enjoy the spectacular views!

Pack List

  • Water
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Lunch
  • Camera
  • Sun protection
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Overall rating: 

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I felt this was a relatively easy hike with splendid views. A must-do as you enter the South Island into the beautiful Picton.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Alex Tande Explorer

Just a bearded guy with a camera. Trying to explore this world one step, pedal crank, or paddle stroke at a time. Always need to find time for the hammock and the 12oz beer curl. You know, the important parts of life

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