Marlborough Region

The top of the South Island offers some of the best reasons to visit New Zealand, from gorgeous beaches to world-class vineyards.
 
The breathtakingly beautiful Marlborough Region, of which Blenheim is the major town, offers a burgeoning gourmet food industry and international award-winning wines; the fruits of the region are celebrated annually in February during the Marlborough Food and Wine Festival. The Marlborough Sounds is another highlight of the region: this maze of forest-lined coves and bays is home to abundant wildlife, such as terns, shags, blue penguins, dolphins, seals and migratory whales. Trek the renowned Queen Charlotte Track, or go sea-kayaking, mountain-biking and on a nature cruise.
 
New Zealand’s smallest national park also lies here: Abel Tasman is famous for sea-kayaking and trekking adventures along the country’s most stunning coastline. Other activities in the region include everything from rock-climbing and quad-biking, to an adrenalin-pumping ride of up to 100 kilometres per hour on the Skywire cable.

Nelson

Nelson's diverse geography captures everything from long golden beaches and untouched forests to rugged mountains. Enjoy the sunniest climate in the country in the Nelson region, sheltered by mountain ranges and offering an irresistible blend of lifestyle and landscape. Nelson is known for its community of artisans, who are inspired by the region’s golden beaches, beautiful national parks and warm Mediterranean-like climate. There are more than 350 working artists and craftspeople living in Nelson, traditional, contemporary and Maori. Visit their studios and find a unique piece to take home with you. 

Tony Brunt

Picton

The picturesque seaside town of Picton is the South Island is the base for the ferry service that links the two main islands of New Zealand. It’s also the gateway to the marine, forest and island attractions of the Marlborough Sounds. Built around a very sheltered harbour, the town has an attractive seafront dotted with cafes, restaurants and various types of galleries. There’s also a floating maritime museum and an aquarium. Local operators can take you cruising, fishing, dolphin-watching or sea-kayaking.

Picton
Shutterstock

Cheers ...

With 90% of the country’s sauvignon blanc plantings, Marlborough is New Zealand’s (some say the world’s) sauvignon blanc capital. With robust aromas and crisp flavours of gooseberry and capsicum, this varietal has been a glittering success for New Zealand.

The region’s second VIP grape is pinot noir. Acclaim is mounting for Marlborough’s fragrant, mouth-filling reds which are richly flavoured and supple. Other Marlborough wine specialties include fresh, vibrantly fruity chardonnays and crisp rieslings.

Scores of vineyards rub shoulders along the Wairau and Awatere Valleys. These vast flat areas are ideal for a gentle gourmet cycle tour. From the small township of Renwick, there are 30 great wineries within a 24 kilometre circuit. Bike hire is easy to arrange locally.

Vinyards in the Marlborough region

Queen Charlotte Track

Stunning coastal views and native bush make the Queen Charlotte Track a uniquely Marlborough walking and biking experience. The Queen Charlotte Track offers a spectacular journey by foot or bike through the Marlborough Sounds. Walk or ride through lush bush, around historic bays and along skyline ridges. You will be rewarded with encounters with native birds, such as the inquisitive weka, and unsurpassed views of both Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru sounds. Take the opportunity to enjoy local hospitality at the variety of cafes and accommodation, from campsites to luxury lodges, located along the track. 

Mike Heydon

The Infinity Experience

Bacchus Lives Here
Marlborough is New Zealand's largest wine growing region and the home of world-renowned sauvignon blanc.

Content & assistance provided by Tourism New Zealand.