Flights to Blenheim and Marlborough: Sunshine and sauvignon

Experience Blenheim and Marlborough

Sauvignon, sun and sea? Enough said. When in Marlborough, do as the locals do. Savour the zesty, gooseberry notes of a Seresin Estate sauvignon blanc while basking in the inordinate amount of sunshine enjoyed by the region. Kayak or sail the bush-clad shores and shimmering coves of the Marlborough Sounds. You'll discover hidden beaches and might even be joined by playful penguins, dolphins and seals.

Back to nature

After flights to Blenheim and Marlborough, stretch your legs on a cycle tour of forgivingly flat, winery-studded plains. Or tackle the steeper high country on a five-day remote sheep station tour. Counting sheep making you yawn? Freshen up on a marine biologist-guided tour of the Marlborough Sounds. Close encounters with tiny Hector's Dolphins and cantankerous King Shags await.

Eat and drink

Sip your way around Marlborough’s cellar doors. Get tipsy on wine giants like Cloudy Bay or savour award-winning vintages from rising stars like Two Rivers. Stuff yourself silly with fresh Cloudy Bay clams, Seresin olive oils and Gourmet Gold Saffron at Marlborough Farmer’s Market. This wine country doesn't just do wine. Look for hand-crafted local ales by Moa or Renaissance. Bottoms up!

Go slow

On your Blenheim and Marlborough holiday, take a sleepy sailboat cruise in the labyrinthine coves and inlets of the Marlborough Sounds. Keen divers can slip beneath the silent waters on a guided tour of forgotten wrecks. Grind to a halt with a luxuriously lazy massage at the Bay of Many Coves resort, or feel like the entire world revolves around you at The Point guesthouse in secluded Blackwood Bay.

Fast facts

Where? Perched on the north-eastern tip of the South Island, Marlborough takes up less than five per cent of New Zealand. It still manages to pack in mountains, rivers, wineries and the drowned valleys of the Marlborough Sounds.

Population: Blenheim has enjoyed a population boom of seven per cent in the past 10 years, due mainly to its rapidly expanding wine industry.

Key dates: On September 26th 1904, an act of law was passed to protect the dolphin Pelorus Jack, famous for guiding ships through the dangerous passages of the region.

Did you know? In Maori mythology, the South Island landmass is the capsized canoe of ancestral explorers. Marlborough Sounds is the intricately carved prow.

Blenheim and Marlborough Hotels

The real charm of our hotel picks lies with the hosts. Let Heidi and Werner give you a tour of the olive groves when staying at Peppertree Lodge, or crack open a cold beer after sailing with John at The Point in Blackwood Bay.

Blenheim and Marlborough Restaurants

Don't be put off by the size of the green-lipped mussels served round here. These giants dwarf the little guys eaten all over Europe, but they’re sweet, delicate, and served fresh from the ocean.

Shopping in Blenheim and Marlborough

Hairy jumper? Check. Freeze-dried venison strips? Check. Weird sculpture of a native bird? Check. Possum-fur slippers? Check. We’ve got your shopping list sorted with our pick of not-to-be-missed Marlborough shopping destinations.

Blenheim and Marlborough Nightlife

For a town where nightlife used to mean an hour in front of the pokies (that's slot machines to you), Marlborough now has a whole lot more for party animals. If old-fashioned beer isn’t retro enough, there’s always snuff to be had at The Secret Garden.

Blenheim and Marlborough Attractions

You probably won’t get them past customs, but feel free to buy garden worms at Marlborough Farmer’s Market. Perhaps better to pick up a plastic model aeroplane from Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, or take nothing but photos on a Marlborough Sounds dolphin cruise.

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