Your guide to a Romantic Getaway in Marlborough

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With award-winning wines, delicious culinary experiences and the stunning Marlborough Sounds to explore, a romantic getaway in the South Island never looked so good.

Whether you're celebrating an anniversary, setting off on your honeymoon, or planning a romantic getaway for two, Marlborough is the perfect spot to escape the crowds and enjoy some one-on-one time with your significant other. Plan your trip with this list of unforgettable activities and exclusive accommodation options that are sure to put butterflies in your stomach, and have you reaching for those Do Not Disturb signs.

Come and wine-down!

From its award-winning wines and delicious culinary experiences heroing locally produced ingredients, Marlborough is a true haven for wine aficionados and foodies. 

Imagine cycling through vineyards, stopping at cellar doors and tasting world-class wines, before indulging in a delicious long lunch surrounded by vineyards. Cue collective dreamy sigh. We’re not talking about Tuscany, this is Marlborough - home to dozens of cellar doors within a very close radius and not a hill in sight - ideal for a relaxed and fun wine tasting experience by bike.

For more serious wine connoisseurs, a wine tour is highly recommended for those wishing to make the most of their stay. There are many fantastic local tour operators, providing a wide range of tour options, including private tours in luxury cars.

Not interested in Wine?

For something other than wine, Marlborough is also home to a number of craft breweries and a boutique gin distillery. Dodson Street Beer Garden is located next door to Renaissance Brewery and is a great spot for relaxing with a brew, or head along to Boomtown Beer Garden or Moa Brewery for a cold pint under the trees. The Gin Room is THE place to taste some of the rare boutique gins produced right here in New Zealand, including the award winning Roots Marlborough Dry Gin.

Food glorious food...

For long lunches, book a table at any of the winery restaurants and you won’t be disappointed. They all have their own unique style and menu, but proudly champion some of the amazing local produce that is grown, foraged, farmed and hunted in this amazing region. If you happen to be in Blenheim on a Sunday, head along to the Marlborough Farmers’ Market and taste your way around the region - from goat’s cheese, to honey, fresh fruit and vegetables, artisan breads, olive oils, pine nuts and cured meats.

At the end of the day, nothing is more romantic than heading out for a meal at a delightful restaurant with a table booked for two. There is a wide range of excellent restaurants in and around Blenheim, but you can’t go past the innovative cuisine and outstanding service at Arbour Restaurant (Two Hats, Best Regional Restaurant in New Zealand 2022). And another long standing, award winning local favourite is Scotch Wine Bar and Wine Shop (One Hat and Best Wine Experience 2022). If you’re on a romantic holiday, dinner at Frank’s Oyster Bar and Eatery is clearly a must and booking a table at the beautiful Harvest Restaurant is also highly recommended. Click here to our top picks for the best spots to drink and dine in Blenheim.

Serenity in the Sounds

Exploring the Marlborough Sounds is a must, offering hidden luxury, stunning views, and dreamy sunsets. With over 1500 kilometres of coastline, the Sounds’ inlets and emerald waters are perfect for relaxation and unforgettable memories. Numerous tour operators provide amazing experiences, especially in Tōtaranui/Queen Charlotte Sound, where you can enjoy wildlife, rich history, and breathtaking scenery from the water. Activities include morning cruises to Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary, swimming/watching various dolphin species, hiking or biking the Queen Charlotte Track, and kayaking through hidden coves. For an elevated experience, Helicopters Nelson & South Pacific Helicopters, offers thrilling heli-picnic sightseeing tours to remote, breathtaking locations. Pelorus Air will take you to the wider Pelorus Kenepuru Sounds for breathtaking scenic flights.

More on the Marlborough Sounds

Romantic retreats

Whether you base yourself in Blenheim, Picton or the Marlborough Sounds, there is a wide range of accommodation options in Marlborough. From charming vineyard cottages, modern self-catering vineyard accommodation to luxury eco-resorts in the Marlborough Sounds, you’ll be sure to find somewhere unique to relax and make the most of your time in this beautiful part of the world.

Set among stunning scenery in the magnificent Queen Charlotte Sound, Punga Cove is the perfect retreat with options to explore by foot, bike or kayak. Whether you’re stopping by for a pizza and pint at their waterside Boatshed Café & Bar, or staying the night, Punga Cove is the ideal way to immerse yourself in nature. 

Whether you’re after adventure or relaxation, Bay of Many Coves offers world-class cuisine, breathtaking scenery and restorative spa treatments. Nestled between stunning native bush and a secluded bay this five star resort is the perfect way to treat you and your loved one to some serious down time. 

And if you prefer the solitude and pristine beauty of Te Hoiere/Pelorus and Kenepuru Sounds, book a room at Hopewell Lodge, Te Mahia Resort or Te Rawa lodge. 

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