Summer

What's happening?

Summer is a season for sailing, kayaking and paddle boarding, or rowing a dinghy across the bay.

Beech trees filter summer sun, casting dappled light on walking trails, and cool rivers beckon, their pure water flowing down from mountains and up from filtering aquifers. It’s a season for leaping from a rope swing into the water, so come plunge into Marlborough this summer.

Must Dos

Dine with a view

Marlborough offers world-class dining, showcasing fresh produce from the region. But the icing on the cake is the brilliant views, along with the variety of views that you can experience while dining out in Marlborough.
Dine with a view

Luxury Retreats & Wine Tours

Indulge in a five-star experience at many luxury retreats offering premium food, wine and brilliant views, whether it be in a secluded bay in the Marlborough Sounds, or among the vines in Marlborough. Wine tours are plentiful with group or private tours available by bike or luxury van.
Luxury Retreats & Wine Tours

Family Fun

Lots of Family Fun to be had in Marlborough, from planes and cars, wildlife experiences in Picton and the Marlborough Sounds that even the adults will love!
Family Fun

Walks, bike rides and kayaking

Experience the many walks, bike rides and kayaking trips in Marlborough, from the winding waters of the Marlborough Sounds, to the 30+ winery cellar doors.
Walks, bike rides and kayaking

Taste Bud Sensation

This itinerary is for people who love food and wine. Pair world famous Marlborough wine with fresh local seafood for the ultimate vine-to-glass, ocean-to-plate, wine and food experience.
Taste Bud Sensation

Marlborough Highlights

This itinerary has been designed to fit into a shorter New Zealand itinerary featuring Marlborough's two most well-known assets, wine and the Marlborough Sounds.
Marlborough Highlights

The Salmon Trail

If you’re a foodie with a passion for matching cuisine with great quality wine or beer, or just love to eat and drink, then Marlborough will surprise and delight you and your tastebuds.
The Salmon Trail

Try Marlborough honey

Try delicious Marlborough honey. Beekeeper Renee de Luca borrows the wine term terroir when talking about her Pūtake Honey, because it is so influenced by land and climate.
Try Marlborough honey

Visit Anakiwa

Check out the end of the Queen Charlotte walkway at Anakiwa, a very attractive bay in the Marlborough Sounds. Take walk to Davies Bay for a taste of the walkway.
Visit Anakiwa

Fresh Marlborough seafood

Marlborough salmon and mussels are available at a range of foodie outlets. Seafood (or more strictly Sounds food) with a crisp ‘chardie’ or ‘sav blanc’ is heaven on earth!
Fresh Marlborough seafood

Buy cherries at a roadside stall

Marlborough is bursting with delicious cherries in December and January. Stop by any roadside stall to pick your own or buy them already packaged. The true taste of summer.
Buy cherries at a roadside stall

Sounds sunset by water

Head out by boat or kayak to find a bay all to yourselves, with a gourmet picnic and a Marlborough riesling or sauvignon blanc. Then watch the late afternoon sun slowly set.
Sounds sunset by water

Mount Tapuae-o-Uenuku

The highest mountain peak outside of the Southern Alps is visible from almost everywhere in Marlborough and central to Maori legend. Some climb it, and everyone admires it.
Mount Tapuae-o-Uenuku

Dream date in the Sounds

Catch the early morning summer boat trip to Motuara Island, then get dropped off at Furneaux Lodge for late breakfast. Walk to Punga Lodge for wood-fired pizza.
Dream date in the Sounds

Picnic riverside at Pelorus

Grab some sticky buns and coffee for a romantic picnic on the edge of the Pelorus River, followed by bush walks and a dip in the water.
Picnic riverside at Pelorus

Romantic champagne breakfast

Get up early and take a bottle of fine Marlborough methode traditionelle, with fresh strawberries and cherries, for a champagne breakfast at the top of Mt Vernon at sunrise.
Romantic champagne breakfast

Hear the dawn chorus

Wake early in the Marlborough Sounds for a stunning dawn chorus, like that heard by Joseph Banks when he visited Queen Charlotte Sound with Captain Cook.
Hear the dawn chorus

Camp on Blumine Island

Head to the predator-free island, Blumine Island in the Marlborough Sounds, and hear kiwi at night and wake to a beautiful dawn chorus, before walking to the WW2 gun emplacement.
Camp on Blumine Island

Spot the king shag

Get a glimpse of the king shag, the second rarest bird in the world with a stagnant population of 500-600. The king shags nest near Motuara Island in the Marlborough Sounds.
Spot the king shag

Walk the Black Jack Track

Walk the Black Jack Track at Whites Bay for views of Cook Strait, Port Underwood and Cape Campbell.
Walk the Black Jack Track

Hire bikes

Get out and experience Marlborough’s vines or hills by bike
Hire bikes

Taste sauvignon blanc

Explore the sub regional variation with sauvignon blanc as well as the different ways wine makers approach the wine, including those using oak and age.
Taste sauvignon blanc

Kayak the Wairau Lagoons

Kayak down the Wairau River, to the Wairau Boulder Bank, exploring the habitat of amazing birdlife with Driftwood Eco Tours.
Kayak the Wairau Lagoons

Sample local sparkling wine

While you're here you must sample a Méthode Marlborough. Premium quality sparkling from the Marlborough region has a history as long as it's flagship variety Sauvignon Blanc.
Sample local sparkling wine

Fishing on the Wairau

Whether it's spin or fly fishing, the Wairau River is a great spot to have a go at hooking a delicious trout for your lunch or dinner.
Fishing on the Wairau

Visit Ship Cove

Visit Ship Cove in the Queen Charlotte Sound, the site of the meeting of the Maori and Pakeha cultures and start of the Queen Charlotte Track.
Visit Ship Cove

Visit an ancient forest

Take a drive to the beautiful Pelorus Bridge area to see this remnant of towering podacarp forest and understand what this entire area once looked like.
Visit an ancient forest

Visit boutique wineries

Hunt down small, artisan boutique wineries and learn about what makes them so special - whether European influenced, organic, or family owned and run.
Visit boutique wineries

Walk and bike Picton

Explore the walking and biking trails around Picton.
Walk and bike Picton

Picton's Maritime Festival

Enjoy all things maritime at the Picton Maritime Festival in January. If you miss the festival, then head to the Edwin Fox Maritime Museum and EcoWorld Picton Acquarium.
Picton's Maritime Festival

Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary

Visit the community run Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary, a mainland sanctuary just a few minutes by boat from Picton, full of native birdlife.
Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary

Find sun, surf and sand

Visit White’s Bay for sun, sand, surf and swimming, as well as walking tracks through native bush.
Find sun, surf and sand

Follow the gold trail

Walk to Devil’s Creek on the Wakamarina trail, retracing the footsteps of gold miners and staying overnight in the DOC hut.
Follow the gold trail

Cruise with dolphins

Go dolphin watching, and learn about all the marine wildlife you see along the way, including seabirds and seals.
Cruise with dolphins

Hit the road

Road bike the winding Queen Charlotte Drive, with native bush on one side of the road and the sparkling Marlborough Sounds on the other.
Hit the road

Family cycling

Take the kids to Conders Bend for fun forest action, or the Rarangi Pump Track for a great little undulating circuit by the sea.
Family cycling

Wind down the pace

Slow things down and leisurely explore vineyards by bike, choosing a guided or unguided tour of cellar doors.
Wind down the pace

Compare vineyard sub-regions

Visit cellar doors in the Wairau, Waihopai, Awatere and Omaka Valleys, comparing the flavour profiles of each sub-region.
Compare vineyard sub-regions

Paddle the Sounds

Rent a kayak and paddle your way from bay to bay, choosing to be independent or guided.
Paddle the Sounds

Picnic on the foreshore

Pack a picnic to enjoy on the Picton Foreshore, or grab an order of fish and chips to eat on the beach.
Picnic on the foreshore

Tackle an epic bike ride

Mountain bike the 70km Queen Charlotte Track, staying in a brilliant range of lodges, B&Bs, homestays and campsites along the way.
Tackle an epic bike ride

Motuara Island eco sanctuary

Visit the beautiful Motuara Island in the Queen Charlotte Sound. This predator free sanctuary is home to kiwi, saddlebacks and other native wildlife.
Motuara Island eco sanctuary

Cellar doors with wine & more

Taste Marlborough wines amid the vines that grew them and the wineries that made them. Stay for lunch or dinner at one of the winery restaurants.
Cellar doors with wine & more

Visit a mussel farm

Take a tour boat to one of the mussel, oyster or salmon farms within our unique waterways to see how some of our wonderful seafood is grown.
Visit a mussel farm

Walk the Queen Charlotte Track

Boat to historic Ship Cove to start your walk on the Queen Charlotte Track. Carry your pack or have it transferred each day. Full walk 3-5 days or choose a section.
Walk the Queen Charlotte Track

Play golf on a farm

Travel out to the 13-hole Nopera Golf Course in the Kenepuru Sound, where pukeko, weka and ducks may join your game.
Play golf on a farm

Take the mail boat

Travel from Havelock or Picton and call in to isolated homesteads and secluded bays to deliver mail and groceries to families living in the Marlborough Sounds.
Take the mail boat

Walk the Nydia Track

Walk the two day Nydia Track. Stay at a DOC hut or eco lodge in Nydia Bay, then carry on to Tennyson Inlet or return the way you came.
Walk the Nydia Track

Set sail in the Sounds

Bring your yacht or charter one here, for beautiful cruising in the Marlborough Sounds, where winter brings crisp and calm blue-sky days.
Set sail in the Sounds

Linger at cellar doors

Savour Marlborough pinot noir in front of a toasty fire, or enjoy a lunch made from premium local ingredients at a vineyard restaurant.
Linger at cellar doors

Bike Molesworth Station

Bike through the iconic Molesworth high country station, ending in Hanmer for a rejuvenating hot pool swim.
Bike Molesworth Station

Swim in the Pelorus River

Make a splash at the beautiful Pelorus River, where the water is deep, cool and crystal clear, surrounded by beautiful native bush.
Swim in the Pelorus River

Governors Bay Scenic Reserve

Enjoy golden sands and azure waters at Governors Bay, a 15 minute drive from Picton.
Governors Bay Scenic Reserve

Marlborough Wine & Food Festival

Head to the Marlborough Wine and Food Festival in February, for a great line up of Marlborough wine & food, along with fantastic music.
Marlborough Wine & Food Festival

Swim with dolphins

Head out from Picton with Marlborough's specialised dolphin swimming and viewing tour company to view dolphins and even swim with them, in the sheltered waters of the Queen Charlotte Sound.
Swim with dolphins

Wither Hills Farm Park

Head to the Wither Hills Farm Park, on the outskirts of Blenheim, where a multitude of trails wind up to stunning views of the Wairau Valley, Mount Tapuae-o-Uenuku and Cloudy Bay.
Wither Hills Farm Park

Richmond Range

Hike or mountain bike through native bush to a DOC hut on the Richmond Range, then up through alpine flora to one of its beautiful peaks.
Richmond Range

Marlborough Farmers’ Market

Devour a beautiful brunch at the Sunday morning Marlborough Farmers’ Market or cool down with fresh-fruit ice creams and juicy cherries.
Marlborough Farmers’ Market

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