The small port side town of Picton is the unlikely focus of two radio heavyweights slugging it out over the airwaves.

But the Marlborough transit town at the top of the South Island is now at the centre of an on-air stoush between Newstalk ZB's late-night talk-show host Marcus Lush and breakfast host Mike Hosking.

Lush believes the township may be worth visiting if the ferry services were shifted.

On his show last week, Lush said he had never had a good time in Picton and was sure he wasn't the only one.


"I've always referred to the fact that Picton is a really terrible town, because you've got to wait so damn long for the ferry," he told the Herald.

He would wander the town and there would be nothing to do.

"It seems really transient and not functioning that well as a town. Don't get me started on the mall."

Today Hosking distanced himself from his fellow broadcaster describing Picton as "paradise".

He said Lush had gone "feral" in attacking Picton and "out to lunch".

"I'm not sure what's happened but he seems to have lost the plot. It might be the hours; it might be the fact he resides in Bluff.

"It is beautiful and charming and strategically brilliantly placed and if Marcus can't see it, his loss, not Picton's."

Hosking described Picton as the jewel at the top of the South Island.


"Between it, Blenheim and Nelson, it geographically tops off the island of envy. Picton is also the gateway to the Sounds, without question the most glorious series of bays, waterways and secluded spots not just in the South Island but anywhere in the world."

He recounted glorious childhood holidays spent at his grandparents' home skimming stones into the harbour and tossing lines into the bay to catch fish.

"Believe me, it is paradise."

But the best part was waiting for the ferry. Watching it dock and cars unload was worth the price of arrival in Picton alone, he said describing his polar opposite experience of the township.

"We drove from Christchurch and we waited for the ferry, the bit that poor old Marcus finds so abhorrent, apparently, but we waited by amusing ourselves, a pie from the cafe, an icecream, swim on the foreshore."

Mike Hosking hosts the Mike Hosking Breakfast on Newstalk ZB