Marlborough Attractions

You are here

When visiting the Marlborough region make sure you don't miss these experiences.

Marlborough
Sauvignon blanc, Marlborough

By John Doogan

The Marlborough region is the home of New Zealand’s most exquisite sauvignon blanc wines.

The Marlborough region is the home of New Zealand's most exquisite sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, aromatic and sparkling wines. 

Savour the flavours of Marlborough

Blenheim is the perfect base to begin your explorations of Marlborough's wineries and other attractions.

  • Take a winery tour. There is a variety of local wine trail operators providing a popular way to see and sample what Marlborough has to offer, be it by car, coach, or bicycle.
  • Become a Golden Mile Champion, biking around wineries, restaurants and artisan stores.
  • Don't miss the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre for a visual feast of rare World War One aircraft and memorabilia.
  • Lunch alfresco amidst the vines at a winery restaurant.
  • Sample and shop for local produce from the farm gate or the Sunday Farmers Market.
  • Visit a distillery or brewery to taste locally produced fruit brandies, beers and liqueurs.
  • Local museums illustrate the early history of the region.
  • Forage for gourmet local produce including honey, pine nuts, saffron and wild game, or pick your own fresh fruit at a local orchard in the summer months. 
  • Take a walk in Wither Hills Farm Park - for great views over Marlborough and the Wairau Plains - or along the Taylor River reserve, finishing with coffee and cake at a riverside cafe.
  • Head to one of the many bike trails including the Wither Hills Mountain Bike Park, Conders Bend and Whites Bay.
  • Kayak or walk the Wairau Lagoon, near the site of New Zealand's first human habitation and home to 90 species of bird.
  • Art galleries offer ever-changing exhibitions of local and national artists.
  • Hit the beach at Whites Bay or Robin Hodd Bay for brilliant beach action.
  • Visit local parks and award-winning gardens.
Find & book flights
Marlborough
Queen Charlotte Track, Marlborough

By Mike Heydon

The spectacular Queen Charlotte Track is 71 kilometres long, but can you do just as much as you like.

Picton - the gateway to the Queen Charlotte Sound

  • The intricate waterways of the Marlborough Sounds - home to the Queen Charlotte Track - make up a fifth of New Zealand's coastline.
  • Arrive by sea through the glorious maze of deep coves and bays that is Queen Charlotte Sound.
  • Explore the vibrant seaport town of Picton. European settlement of this area began in the 1840s and many of the early buildings still grace the waterfront.
  • Cycle the Queen Charlotte Track, one of the New Zealand Cycle Trail's Great Rides
  • The National Whale Centre and the Picton Museum offer a fascinating insight into the history of whaling and whales in the Sounds, and the history of Waitohi as a Maori trading settlement, colonial port and whaling port
  • Go on a sea kayaking safari - guide yourself or join a group for expert tuition
  • Take a delivery cruise in the Marlborough Sounds and explore its many inlets and coves. Stay onboard or get off to enjoy lunch at a waterfront retreat.
  • Relax at a secluded lodge, bed and breakfast or holiday home, with million dollar views of the Sounds
  • Find a beach all to yourself and take in the sights
  • Head out on a dolphin safari to view or swim with dolphins in the sheltered waters of the Sounds. Up to five species of dolphin reside in the Sounds over the year, from the rare Hector's dolphin to visiting Orca.
  • Walk the Queen Charlotte Track (three to five days) - a popular walkway with many entry and exit points. There are various accommodation providers and restaurants along its length catering for a range of budgets, plus you don't have to get your feet wet! Walk the full track or just a section - there are planey of options to fit your schedule. 
  • Visit the Edwin Fox, the world's ninth oldest ship on display in Picton Harbour. 
  • Dive shipwrecks. The Mikhail Lermontov is one of the largest diveable wrecks in the world, located in Port Gore in the Marlborough Sounds.
  • Charter a sailing boat and cruise the sounds - bareboat or skippered.
  • Chill out in a waterfront cafe, sampling local cuisine and soaking up the ambience of the neighbouring marina.
New Zealand
Wine and mussels in Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand

By Marlborough

Wine and mussels in Marlborough Sounds

Adventures that begin in Havelock

The charming seaport of Havelock was once a thriving gold-mining town. Today it's the Greenshell Mussel capital of the world and recognised as the gateway to the Pelorus, Kenepuru and Mahau Sounds.

  • Taste the local delicacy - Greenshell Mussels served in a number of local cafes or onboard the Greenshell Mussel Cruise.
  • Spend the day cruising the waterways of the Marlborough Sounds on the Pelorus Mail Boat.
  • Visit the historic gold mining township of Canvastown, the scenic splendour of Pelorus Bridge Reserve and rural Rai Valley.
  • Get on board a charter boat and go snapper fishing or learn the eco-history of the Pelorus and Kenepuru Sounds.
  • Drive or cruise to a waterfront retreat for a relaxing stay.
  • Walk or bike the Nydia Track from Kaiuma Bay to Tennyson Inlet. The walk takes two days and biking (recommended for advanced riders) takes 5-8 hours one way.
  • Do the Pelorus Bridge Walks - 18 kilometres west of Havelock.
  • Follow the path of Middle Earth's dwarves and kayak through the location of their barrel scene from The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug
New Zealand
Cycling through Molesworth Station, New Zealand

By PureTrails NZ

Cycling through Molesworth Station

Find a fresh country adventure in the Awatere Valley or along the Pacific coast

  • Explore private gardens open for viewing - Barewood Garden in the Awatere Valley is recognised as a garden of National Significance by the New Zealand Gardens Trust.
  • Visit Yealands Estate, the world's most sustainable winery
  • Take a guided tour of Molesworth Station, New Zealand's largest high country farm station. View the grandeur and beauty of the mountainous high country.
  • Walk the Cape Campbell or the Awatere Tussock Tracks.
  • Cycle Molesworth Road, part of the New Zealand Cycle Trails.
  • Gaze upwards at Mount Tapuae-o-uenuku - the tip of the Southern Alps and the first mountain Sir Edmund Hillary climbed on his path to the top of Mount Everest

Where to next?

Wellington →

Nelson →

Kaikoura →