Majestic stretches of water, secluded beaches, water sports, wineries and wildlife await in this stunning region in the northeast corner of New Zealand’s South Island.
Visit the Marlborough region for adventure activities, viticulture and wildlife spotting amid grand scenery. Marlborough runs from the striking archipelago on the South Island’s northeastern tip, over the Southern Alps, across vineyards and along the Pacific Ocean. Go sea-kayaking, hike across rugged mountain landscapes, swim with dolphins and tour New Zealand’s largest winemaking area.
Picton, a gateway to the magnificent sea-drowned valleys, pretty beaches and waterways of the Marlborough Sounds, is a great place to start your holiday. Explore the four distinct sounds of Kenepuru, Mahau, Pelorus and Queen Charlotte by guided boat cruises or rented kayak. Swim alongside playful pods of dolphins, see varied birdlife and spot blue penguins. Nearby Havelock is another starting point for excursions around the sounds.
Hike or bike on the Queen Charlotte Track, a 70-kilometre (44-mile) long trail that follows the shore of Queen Charlotte Sound. Take a break at idyllic beaches, historic whaling stations and wildlife-watching lookouts. Stay overnight at campsites and luxury resorts.
Explore the heart of Marlborough’s winelands, famous for the production of sauvignon blanc wines. Start your journey from the towns of Blenheim and Renwick and head to the bodegas located in the Awatare Valley and Wairau Valley that open their doors for tours, tastings and exceptional dining experiences.
Spend some time enjoying more of the region’s glorious countryside by kayaking on the Wairau River. Walk in the undulating, forest-covered terrain of Mount Richmond Forest Park. Join a multiday trek to the summit of Mount Tapuae-O-Uenuku and be rewarded with unbeatable panoramic views. Surf at Marfells Beach and Whites Bay, just two of the many beaches on the shores of the Pacific Ocean.
Reach the Marlborough region by flying to Christchurch’s international airport and renting a car or catch a ferry to Picton from Wellington on the North Island. Marlborough is New Zealand’s sunniest region and a place to visit year-round, although cooler temperatures can be expected in the winter months. Extend your trip and visit the unspoilt beaches at Abel Tasman National Park and Rabbit Island to the west of the Marlborough region.