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Marlborough, New Zealand

Fine wine and fine scenery—Marlborough will quickly put you in an excellent mood. Follow your passion for the good life through the tranquil countryside.


Marlborough region, New Zealand

Marlborough Region is situated on the north-eastern corner of the South Island, due west of Wellington.

General Facts

As of June 2005, Marlborough's estimated population was 42,700.

Visitors may fly direct to Blenheim, Marlborough's main town, or take the ferries from Wellington to Picton, the local port in Queen Charlotte Sound.

Sunny and dry, Marlborough is sheltered by nearby hills and mountains, and is renowned for its vineyards, delicious food, scenic boat cruising and forest walks.

Marlborough is New Zealand's largest grape growing and wine making region with 65 wineries, 290 grape growers and 4054 hectares in grape production.

Before the wine industry came along, Marlborough's fame lay with its sounds--sunken valleys that are home to all kinds of wonderful bird and sea life, including terns, shags, blue penguins, dolphins and seals.

Blenheim is an attractive and peaceful town of parks and gardens. Although it has the low-key ambience of rural New Zealand, it has sophisticated cafes, restaurants and accommodation usually found in larger centres.

Main Attractions and Activities

With the country's largest area of vineyards, Marlborough's major attraction is vineyard visits, wine tasting and cafes. To the north, the sheltered, drowned valleys of the Marlborough Sounds are a boating and fishing paradise.

Queen Charlotte Sounds Marlborough, New Zealand
Queen Charlotte Sounds, Marlborough

The quaint waterfront village of Picton is the starting point for an idyllic marine playground, indented with many secluded coves, pristine beaches and sheltered waterways. With 1500 kilometres of shoreline, Marlborough offers unlimited opportunities for cruising, sailing, diving and fishing.

One of Marlborough's most scenic hikes is the 67 kilometre Queen Charlotte walk, a combination of both forest and coastal scenery. Closer to Blenheim, the Wither Hills Farm Park has a network of trails affording expansive views. On the northern side of the Wairau Valley, Mt Richmond Forest Park is also popular for hiking.

The Treasured Pathway is a heritage driving route (well signposted) that links historical sites along 680 kilometres or 422 miles of roads from Picton in the Marlborough region to Farewell Spit in the Nelson region.

In the Marlborough Sound's you can go sea kayaking, dive shipwrecks or charter a sailing boat and cruise the Sounds.

Various land activities include high country horse trekking, fly-fishing or hunting, explore private gardens open for viewing, or visit the alpacas and llamas just out of Koromiko.

Don't Miss

Wine regions in Marlborough, New Zealand
Wine Regions, Marlborough
  • Marlborough wine trail
  • Marlborough garden tours
  • Launch or yacht cruise in the Sounds
  • Marlborough art and craft trail
  • Gourmet lunch or dinner at a vineyard or town restaurant
  • Queen Charlotte Walkway
  • Local museums and restored heritage homes

Main Centres

  • Blenheim - the main town of Marlborough and a central base for vineyard visits
  • Picton - Marlborough's main commercial port and access to Queen Charlotte Sound
  • Havelock - the gateway to the Kenepuru and Pelorus Sounds
  • Renwick - just minutes from Blenheim, another good base to explore the wine region
  • Wairau Valley - a place to stop en route to the Nelson Lakes National Park
  • Seddon - traditionally a farming area, now known for its craftspeople and gardens
  • Kekerengu - nestled on the East Coast on the way to Kaikoura with its own blend of attractions