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Marlborough Region

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

Marlborough is New Zealand's largest grape growing and wine making region with 65 wineries, 290 grape growers and 4054 hectares in grape production. Most of the wineries welcome visitors for tasting sessions and many have a cafe or restaurant on site. Sauvignon Blanc is the region's specialty, but wines made with Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes also have a good reputation. The visitor information centre supplies wine trail maps so that you can find your own way around the vineyards.

Blenheim and Picton have good motels and good bed and breakfast accommodation can be found throughout the wine growing area.

Ferry at Picton
Ferry at Picton- Credit- Peter Hunt

Marlborough has been a holiday destination for generations because of the Marlborough Sounds. The ferries from Wellington sail to Picton through Queen Charlotte Sound, and Kenepuru and Pelorus Sounds are also popular with boaties. All three sounds can be explored by runabout, launch or kayak. The beauty of the bush clad hills and the bird life, including terns, shags, blue penguins, dolphins and seals also draw visitors to the area..

The 67km Queen Charlotte Track with accommodation available on the way passes through coastal bush and along ridges which give splendid views of Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds.

Marlborough Sounds
Marlborough Sounds - Credit- Peter Hunt

Guided trout fishing and hunting tours are also organised in Marlborough. The average brown trout in this region weighs between 1 to 3 kg, depending on the fishing ground.

Marlborough's towns and townships
  • Blenheim - the region's main town and a central base for vineyard visits
  • Picton - region's main commercial port and access to Queen Charlotte Sound
  • Havelock - the gateway to the Kenepuru and Pelorus Sounds
  • Renwick - close to Blenheim, centre for the wineries region
  • Seddon - a farming area, now also known for crafts
  • Kekerengu - a pleasant place for refreshments on the journey south
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