The clean, green Marlborough Sounds, a series of spectacular sunken sea valleys and bush-clad peninsulas, are best explored on foot or by boat, kayak or water taxi. Captain Cook used the sounds as a base during the 1700s and there's a lot of history to discover in the region. Visitors can take their pick from a variety of activities: hike the 71km Queen Charlotte Track, leading from historic Ship Cove to Anakiwa, or cruise the length of the magnificent Queen Charlotte Sound then take a dip with its dolphins. Or you could gorge yourself silly on Havelock's famous greenshell mussels, then relax amid vines near Blenheim and sample the local wines.
Any exploration of the Hurunui region uncovers a diverse selection of places to visit and things to do. On the coast you can join a whale-watch cruise and swim with the seals and dolphins. Enjoy a picnic on any of the region's surf beaches and catch a wave or two.Seafood is also plentiful, especially crayfish (rock lobster) which teams beautifully with wine from the local vineyards scattered throughout the countryside. Inland, during the winter, you can enjoy skiing and snowboarding. Otherwise, take a soak in hot thermal springs or try your hand at fishing for salmon and trout.
This lovely picture-postcard city has lots to offer both within the city centre and the surrounding area. Established by the Church of England in 1850 and bordering the Avon River, it's a sophisticated southern haven boasting a wide range of restaurants, cafes, boutique shops, and museums. Whether you choose to ride in a punt along the river or hover above in a hot air balloon, you'll find plenty to see and do in Christchurch.
THE BEST OF MARLBOROUGH, NORTH CANTERBURY AND CHRISTCHURCH CITY
For more ideas on the best things to see and do, our favourite places to stay, and the top spots to wine and dine, tantalise your taste buds with the best of New Zealand cuisine and delicious kai in the Marlborough Sounds, Marlborough region, North Canterbury or Christchurch City check out our website.
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