The Marlborough Sounds
Start your day touring the Marlborough Sounds – comprising one-fifth of New Zealand’s coastline.
Visit Meretoto/Ship Cove (Captain Cook’s favourite New Zealand anchorage) and Motuara Island, one of four uninhabited wildlife reserve islands in the Queen Charlotte Sound. Look out for dolphins, seals, orca and the rare King Shag along the way. Stay at a secluded lodge and enjoy relaxing beside the sea.
For something a little different, experience a mailboat cruise of the Queen Charlotte or Pelorus Sound. Help deliver the mail and crucial supplies to people living in secluded bays throughout the Sounds. Stay the night at a seaside lodge or in Picton, and enjoy the town’s picturesque foreshore with mini golf, children's playground and marina.
Transfer to Blenheim and visit the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, which brings to life the heroes of World War One aviation with an unparalleled collection and dramatic lifelike scenes. World renowned Weta Workshop and Wingnut Films, responsible for The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, created the sets which make this attraction world-class and visually impressive.
Enjoy a long lunch at a local café and take a walk through the Wither Hills Farm Park in the afternoon – a network of walks and biking tracks with views over the vineyard-studded Wairau Plains. Taylor River is another peaceful spot to cycle, and you can even bring your four-legged friend! Just don't forget their lead.
If you’re visiting on a Sunday, head to the Marlborough Farmers’ Market. Taste your way around the stallholders, listen to the sounds of local musicians, see a local chef in action and listen to the resident storyteller.
These are just ideas to get you started, you can easily spend a few weeks here.