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Marlborough has everything New Zealand has to offer in one region. Marlborough has from spectacular rainforest, awesome mountains, and secluded beaches to the mysterious caves. Marlborough has great restaurants, award-winning wine, fascinating crafts and friendly New Zealanders. The region is spread over the top right hand side of the South Island, and is reached by Ferry from Wellington, or along the rocky eastern Kaikoura coast from Christchurch. This is another region where sunshine is king. Nelson and Marlborough are the two regions of New Zealand that get the most sun. 

Blenheim is Marlborough's largest town with a population of around 24,000. Situated at the junction of State Highway 1 and State Highway 6, Blenheim is the region's economic centre. In the heart of Blenheim's business district is Market Square featuring an ornate rotunda and a wide piazza where people congregate to enjoy Blenheim's weather. In keeping with its role as a holiday destination, Blenheim's many parks and gardens gives the feel of a friendly relaxed festive town. Pollard Park and Waterlea Gardens have attractive flower displays and Seymour Square features an historic monument and multi-coloured fountain.

Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand

New Zealand is known for the quality of its wine, and the Marlborough region is one of the best. The number of awards won by young Marlborough vineyards is impressive. The Food and Wine festival, held in Blenheim every February, is an opportunity to sample the region's best. You may prefer to savour the wines on a guided tour or by bike so you can enjoy all the great wines on offer.

From Havelock, the route to Nelson weaves through the hills so typical of rural New Zealand, past sheep and through bush. The Pelorus River makes an excellent picnic spot, where a wheelchair track goes through native forest. At Rai Valley, a single gravel road snakes north above the western arm of the Marlborough Sounds. Stephens Island, the most northern island, is a Tuatara sanctuary, the world's only living relative of the dinosaurs.

The Queen Charlotte Sound has a collection of bays and inlets. Visit some of the lodges and enjoy some quality New Zealand Wine and food. There are many ways to explore the Marlborough Sounds; they include a 2-hour cruise, full day trips, combination cruise and trekking trips. The Queen Charlotte Track runs from Anakiwa in the south to the Cape Jackson Lighthouse in the far north and is approximately 90kms long.

Marlborough really is a jewel in the crown of all that is New Zealand.

Marlborough Map

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Marlborough’s climate:

Average Summer temperature; 23c
Warmest months; December to March
Average Winter temperature; 13.3c
Average Hours of sunshine per year; 2400hrs
Average annual rainfall; 655mm

Popular Marlborough activities

Take a wine trail
Visit the country museums
Visit Picton
Visit Edwin Fox a floating museum in Picton
Take a hike through the Queen Charlotte Track (3-4 days)

Key Features



Vines and wines
Marlborough is New Zealand’s largest grape-growing and wine-making region. The broad, sweeping plains are home to about 70 wineries. Discover and enjoy on a self-drive, bicycle or guided tour.

Sea Kayaking - Marlborough


The Marlborough Sounds
Bordered by forest that rises almost vertically from the water’s edge, three drowned river valleys offer 1500 kilometres of sheltered beaches and waterways for sailing, cruising, kayaking, fishing and diving.

A kayak or charter boat can take you to the scenic secrets of Queen Charlotte Sound.


Queen Charlotte Track
This spectacular walking track winds through 71 kilometres of native forest, along ridges and beside idyllic coves. Travel with a local guide to learn about the habitat and hear the local Maori legends.

Key Tips

  • Marlborough is blessed with a year-round sunny climate and regularly records the highest sunshine hours in New Zealand.
  • Marlborough occupies the north eastern corner of the South Island, a scenic ferry ride from Wellington.
  • The airports at Blenheim and Picton link Marlborough to all other major New Zealand destinations.
  • Marlborough is the southern entry point for the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail. It’s also the start of the Treasured Pathway touring route.




Population: 41,700
Area: 720km2

Reviews / Comments for Marlborough

Rating Averages


Blenheim. The Bell Tower. There are 80 wineries in the area. Great location, elegant B & B, wonderful hosts. It was like being on a house party with old friends. Maria cooked a gourmet dinner. Invited us to go boating on the Marlborough Sound for a picnic lunch for our last day in NZ.
Had a fabulous dinner at Herzog's our last night. This was a rec from this board too and a great one.
Visited several wineries our last morning.Especially liked Serensins where we bought some flavored olive oils. Hey, it was a little to early for wine.

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