From the forests and inlets of the Marlborough Sounds to plains criss-crossed with grape vines further south, Marlborough is a region blessed with natural abundance. Bathed in sunshine, it invites exploration year-round; whether your tastes run to the thrills of swimming with dolphins or the more laid-back pleasure of selecting a favourite among more than 40 cellar doors. Whatever you choose, this is the perfect place for an indulgent escape.

Highlights

Marlborough Sounds The drowned valleys of the Marlborough Sounds are a stunning scenic wonderland of quiet coves nestled amongst forest-clad hills, ideal to explore under sail. Queen Charlotte Track The 71-kilometre Queen Charlotte Track has fantastic coastal scenery, perfect for hiking, and also offers great mountain bike rides. The track can easily be tackled in sections. Wine tasting Sunny Blenheim on the Wairau Plains is the centre of New Zealand’s renowned Sauvignon Blanc wine-growing region. Awatere Valley The rugged tussock-clad mountains in the southern part of Marlborough are home to huge backcountry sheep stations. Wilderness retreats Dotted on islands and in secluded coves around the Marlborough Sounds are a number of enticing retreats ranging from back-to-nature experiences to luxurious lodges. Rich heritage The Marlborough region has a rich history dating back to early Māori habitation and the arrival of Captain Cook, who anchored at Ship Cove. There are several museums and heritage tours to experience.

Destinations

Havelock Mussel-farming capital and gateway to Kenepuru and Pelorus Sounds. Anakiwa Marks the end of the Queen Charlotte Track. Renwick Heart of the Sauvignon Blanc wine industry. Portage Tiny outpost on tranquil Kenepuru Sound. Picton Gateway to the beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound and the North Island. Blenheim Main regional town and centre of the renowned Marlborough wine industry.

Getting There and Around

Air Blenheim Airport is the main airport servicing Marlborough with domestic flights to Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch with Air New Zealand. Sounds Air offers flights from Blenheim or Picton to Wellington. Road Blenheim is 6 hours from Christchurch (via the inland route currently necessary while repairs are conducted on State Highway 1 following the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake) and 1 hour, 40 minutes from Nelson. It is a 25-minute drive from Blenheim to Picton. Coaches and shuttles service the area. Christchurch to Blenheim [452 km; 6 hr] Westport to Blenheim [264 km; 3 hr, 45 min] Nelson to Blenheim [116 km; 1 hr, 40 min] Blenheim to Picton [28 km; 25 min] Blenheim to Havelock [63 km; 55 min] Rail KiwiRail’s rail service from Christchurch to Picton, the Coastal Pacific, is currently out of operation while repairs are made on the line. Ferry Interislander and Bluebridge ferries depart from Picton to Wellington several times daily and make for a great scenic cruise. Water taxis provide another transport option.

Directory

Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre

Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre houses a display like no other – and you don’t have to be an aviation nut to enjoy it! Great War aircraft are given a theatrical…

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Marlborough Wine Tours

Personalised, flexible mini-coach tours for the discerning wine taster, from three hours to all day. Pick-up from accommodation, ferry terminal, airport or train. Tours include Marlborough’s famous wineries – as…

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Makana Confections Blenheim

Makana Confections manufactures and retails gift-quality chocolates at its boutique chocolate factories in Blenheim and Kerikeri. A visit to the Makana boutique chocolate factory is an experience not to be…

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Endeavour Express

Travel the beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound with Endeavour Express, the region’s only carbon-neutral water transport provider and backpacker specialist. Fast and friendly service. Help the environment by using an operator…

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Beachcomber Cruises

At Beachcomber Fun Cruises we take great pleasure in offering a selection of boat trips through the beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound. Join our world-famous Magic Mail Run, walk the Queen…

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Marlborough Vintners Hotel

For your Marlborough cuisine and wine experience choose Marlborough Vintners Hotel in the heart of Sauvignon Blanc country. Our boutique vineyard accommodation, fine dining restaurant and executive retreat facilities are…

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Hotel d'Urville

Set in the historic 1920s Art Deco Public Trust building in the heart of Blenheim, surrounded by the world-renowned wine-growing region of Marlborough. Hotel d’Urville offers a unique blend of…

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Furneaux Lodge

Nestled at the head of Endeavour Inlet in Queen Charlotte Sound. Self-contained family units to contemporary studio suites, surrounded by 800 hectares of virgin native forest. Go kayaking, swimming, mountain…

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Sounds Air

The fast and scenic way to cross Cook Strait, the Marlborough Sounds and to view Tasman Bay. Flights between Wellington and Picton, Wellington and Nelson and Wellington and Blenheim. Enjoy…

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Interislander

Interislander travels between the North and South Islands of New Zealand and offers one of the most spectacular cruises in the world. As you travel, take a stroll on the…

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Vintners Retreat

Perfect for the independent traveller, the Vintners Retreat provides exclusive luxury accommodation in the heart of Marlborough, New Zealand’s largest wine region. True vineyard accommodation, Vintners Retreat offers unique and…

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