New Zealand trips

Wellington to Marlborough

4 Days
659km
410mi

Route

Wellington Central to Wellington Central

Highlights

  • Wellington
  • Sunny lakes of Nelson
  • Blenheim

Best time of year

All year

Here’s an excursion to the South Island that gives you a taste of wine, art and alpine adventure. Wellington will keep you entertained with museums, theatre and historical places, then the Interislander will ferry you across Cook Strait and through the spectacular Marlborough Sounds to Picton.

The arty city of Nelson is your next destination – eat, shop and enjoy the local creative mood. Drive on to the coastal wonderland of Abel Tasman National Pakr, followed by the alpine village of St Arnaud, for all kinds of outdoor adventure.

Move on to Blenheim for memorable vineyard experiences, then complete the loop to Picton and catch the return ferry to Wellington.

Info

Marlborough is home to beautiful inlets and award-winning wineries.

Photo by Rob Suisted

Day 1

Wellington - Nelson

5 hrs

39 mins

208 km

130 mi

Wellington

Wellington City is compact, cultured and full of character. Nestled between the harbour and the hills, the downtown area is ideal for explorations on foot. Enjoy cafes, restaurants, museums and all kinds of shops. Dance, theatre and musical performances are a Wellington specialty. As New Zealand’s capital, this city is rich in political history.

The passage across Cook Strait and through the Marlborough Sounds is one of the most scenic ferry trips in the world. The cruise-style ferry takes just over 3 hours and can transport vehicles. Highlights along the way include the Red Rocks seal colony, Tory Channel, Cook’s Lookout and the beautiful coves of the sounds.

The drive to Nelson first takes you to the town of Havelock, which is known as the Green Shell Mussel Capital of the World. Nearby Canvastown is a place to explore old gold mining fields – thousands tried to get rich here in the 1860s. At Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve you can enjoy a bush walk or a swim, depending on the time of the year. And if you’d like a glimpse of local life in 1890, Rai Valley has a beautifully preserved cottage museum.

The city of Nelson is home to a fascinating community of beach, bush and art lovers. From here you can organise yourself an eco-adventure or become immersed in the local creative culture.

Wellington Harbour

Start in Wellington Central

Whether you want to dabble in history or indulge at divine restaurants, Wellington is a capital city with a great deal of style. Enjoy!

Exploring the edges of the Abel Tasman National Park in a sea kayak is a rare type of freedom.

End in Nelson Central

One of the sunniest cities in New Zealand, Nelson is the perfect spot to base yourself while you spend some time exploring the Abel Tasman National Park.

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