Surrounded by row upon row of vines, Blenheim sits at the heart of the Marlborough Wine region. A compact town centred on an old fashioned marketplace, Blenheim is a great place to soak up the country atmosphere. A great choice of cafes, restaurants, and shops will help you while away the afternoon.
Blenheim is also home to the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, which houses Peter Jackson's Great War collection, complete with mannequins by Weta Workshop.
Of course, the region is most famous for its world-class wines and a visit would not be complete without sampling the vintages at the many wineries.
A Full Day Wine Tour, departing around 10.30am and returns 4.30pm. Discover the diversity of Marlborough's famous wine valley. You will visit approximately 6 - 7 venues. A winery lunch stop is included at your own cost. Tasting fees may apply at selected wineries.
Marlborough has become world famous for two iconic areas, the Marlborough wine region and the Marlborough Sounds. Enjoy the perfect combo tour through both areas on the Marlborough Icons Tour. This tour starts in the heart of the Marlborough wine region with two fine wine experiences including Cloudy Bay winery, then in the afternoon enjoy a totally unique Seafood Cruise in the Marlborough Sounds. Learn about seafood farming, take in the stunning scenery and enjoy fresh local seafood with a glass of award winning Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
Highlight Wine Tours are for those with a taste for wines, beers and fruit liqueurs. Join us for a 'not to be missed' tour through Marlborough's world famous wine region and sample it's essential taste among the panoramic landscapes. Pick up from your accommodation, your day will be organised at your pace with your choice of wineries to visit. Stopping for lunch at one of Marlborough's Winery Restaurants ( at your cost ). Finishing the tour at the Makana Boutique Chocolate Factory, returning you to your accommodation approx 5pm.
You get a close look at the wine production process as your winemaker guide educates your mind and your palate from vineyard to bottle! Hop ‘n Grape tours go beyond the cellar door so you can sample the best – straight from the barrel. You can ask all those curly questions, so you can dazzle your friends back home with your NZ Wine Know-How.
Your full day tour starts with a behind-the-scenes look at a modern-day winery. You’ll either taste grape juice fresh from the press; sample a young Pinot Noir from the barrel; or try a freshly filtered Sauvignon Blanc.
Next, you’ll get up close and personal with the Marlborough wine region and you’ll taste any delight that isn’t tied down. You will visit 4-6 wineries which can include local breweries, with over 40 cellar doors to choose from, if you’ve got a favourite we’ll do our best to get you there. Lunch at a vineyard restaurant is always a highlight (at own cost). There is also opportunity to do a Cheese tasting, Olive oil tasting or a visit to Makana Chocolate Shop.
Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre houses a display like no other and you don't have to be an aviation buff to enjoy it! Human stories from the Great War come to life in a theatrical treatment, which is innovative and visually stunning. Assisted by mannequins from Peter Jackson's Weta Workshop, captivating scenes depict the aircraft in context, some recreating actual incidents. The rare memorabilia is worthy of any national collection and ranges from beautifully crafted 'trench art' through to personal items belonging to the famous Red Baron himself.
The Coastal Pacific train journey travels between the delightful port of Picton and Christchurch, the South Island's largest city. This journey is a scenic feast of New Zealand, with the Kaikoura mountain ranges on one side of your train and the rugged Pacific Ocean coastline on the other. Along the way you pass though the village of Kaikoura, where, if you're touring New Zealand, you can break your journey to take in the whale watching or dare to get closer and swim with the dolphins.
Travel through some of New Zealand's finest horticultural and farmland areas, and see amazing wildlife such as dolphins, seals and penguins from the comfort of your train carriage.
One of the world's most scenic train journeys, the Coastal Pacific travels through 22 tunnels and crosses 175 bridges, one of them being New Zealand's only road-rail bridge. As on The TranzAlpine, The Coastal Pacific includes an open air viewing carriage where all your senses are awakened with the clean, fresh, sea air.
Located among vineyards you’ll enjoy the scenery and course challenge when you play at Marlborough Golf Course, Fairhall, Blenheim - the region’s premier course. Founded in 1900, it’s one of New Zealand’s oldest courses. The par is 72 over 6052 metres off the blue tees. With only 400 members, the course is never crowded. It’s a friendly club where visitors are always welcome. It’s easy walking with a variety of trees and terrain, water hazards, out of bounds in the vines, making it a good test of golf. The course is extremely well maintained by the greenkeeping staff assisted by club volunteers. Having an extensive course watering system and being one of the sunniest places in the country also helps. The clubhouse offers fine wines from the club’s sponsors, so the 19th is well worth a visit after your game. The club is less than 10 minutes’ drive from Blenheim town centre and near many of the area’s top cellar doors.
The Marlborough area has a plethora of walks available, from easy 1km walks, all the way to multi-day hikes. These are some of the best short walks in the Blenheim & Picton area.
Wairau Lagoons Walkway
Time: 3hrs return
The main access point is from the end of Hardings Road, which leaves State Highway 1.5 km south of Blenheim. There is a carpark and information. This flat loop track, ideal for kids, follows the lagoon shoreline with good bird watching to the rusting remains of the Waverley ship. The Waverley was towed from Wellington by the SS Wairau to the mouth of the Wairau River where it was to be sunk to form a breakwater. Before being scuttled, it was swept up the channel in a flood to where it now lies, in the Wairau Lagoons. Return either the same way or, more directly, across the saltmarsh area, with its salt-resistant plants. Alternatively, it is possible to continue beyond the Waverley for a view of the river.
Whites Bay Tracks
Follow SH1 to Tuamarina (9 km north of Blenheim or 20 km south of Picton). Turn off and head east via Hunter, Pembers, and Rarangi Roads to Rarangi, before climbing steeply over rugged hills to where a short side road leads down to the cable station.Whites Bay is 15 km from Tuamarina. Whites Bay has walks for a range of abilities, including kids - there are rocky areas for scrambling and exploring and a near-flat sandy beach that's excellent for swimming too.
-Monkey Bay Walk
Time: 20 minutes return
This short walk leads from the northern end of Rarangi Beach around a rocky point and into Monkey Bay, with its small beach. A lookout point near the beginning of the track offers good views and has signs explaining the way that sea currents have formed Rarangi Beach over thousands of years. This track is exposed in places and visitors should keep to the formed track.
Time: 10 minutes
From the uppermost camping area at Whites Bay, the Pukatea Walk meanders down to the cable station alongside Pukatea Stream passing through regenerating forest.
-Black Jack Track
Time: 1 hr return or 1 hr 30 min to complete the loop
From Whites Bay, the track climbs to a superb viewpoint on the edge of a bluff where Te Whanganui/Port Underwood, Cook Strait, and Cape Campbell can be seen. Children need to be closely supervised here. Return the same way or complete a longer, loop option by winding slowly down through regenerating forest.