Blenheim, Marlborough

If you love spending lots of time holidaying outdoors with the balmy summer sun on your skin, then Blenheim in New Zealand’s Marlborough region is the perfect holiday destination for you.

As well as just soaking up the serene scenery, you’ll love exploring the various beautiful natural features of the Marlborough sounds, enjoying the world class local wine industry – there’s nearly 40 wine cellar doors to choose from – gourmet food options, and varied outdoors activities. Hiking, kayaking, water sports, fishing and golfing are all excellent entertainment options here.

With such a wonderfully warm climate, temperatures regularly top 30°C in the peak of summer during Feb-March, you’re bound to work up a thirst. Wine, food and craft beer are three key themes to relaxing in this region. Marlborough boast the honour of being New Zealand’s largest wine growing region yielding no less than 76% of all wine produced nationally and an even higher percentage of all sauvignon blanc. You’d actually have to move here in order to experience all 140+ wineries – there’s an incredible array to choose from.  

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And beer and cider drinkers need not panic, you’re well catered for, too. Two of New Zealand’s highest profile craft breweries have made their home here. Moa breweries use wine making expertise in their brewing techniques, pride themselves on using local ingredients and offer a ‘beer school.’ Renaissance pride themselves on producing top end, ultra-premium ales and you’ll find their product all around town. 

When it comes to food you’ll be hard pressed to find better seafood anywhere else. Crayfish, salmon, oysters and mussels are all popular at restaurants here.

You’d actually have to move here in order to experience all of the 140+ wineries in the region – there’s an incredible array to choose from.

This region is also renowned for being a mountain biker’s paradise. You’ve got the choice of exerting yourself, pounding the pedals through forests, secluded bays and along exhilarating mountain trails or shifting to a low gear and cruising between cellar doors.

Sought after rides include the iconic Queen Charlotte Track in the spectacular Marlborough Sounds, one of the many guided Molesworth Station tours or exploring the 1100 hectare Wither Hills Farm Park, amongst others.

If you’re a really passionate mountain biker then consider planning your trip around the South Island’s biggest annual mountain biking event every April – the Forest Grape Ride. This recreational event offers a 101km odyssey or 42km circuit through stunning countryside.