Guide

Spotlight On Marlborough

Check out what people think of Marlborough as a place to visit, and see their first-hand experiences in NZ's sunniest place.

  1. Cape Campbell in The Light Between Oceans
  2. Pelorus River in The Hobbit
  3. Marlborough Sub Regions
Steve Austin

Steve Austin Marlborough Museum

“Marlborough is incredibly rich in terms of heritage nationally and internationally, and we are in the process of discovering even more.”

My insider guide to Marlborough

Pelorus River in The Hobbit

As seen in the barrel scene from The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug

The crystal clear waters of the Pelorus River, and the iconic bridge above was the film location of the barrel scene in The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug. The pure river cuts through a rocky gorge, surrounded by lush green native beech forest.

Sir Peter Jackson picked this place for filming, named 'Forest River' in the film, after sending his scouts out to find... "a river with a solid rock shoreline surrounded by forest with a sandy beach for the barrels to come ashore - to backdrop the ‘dwarves escaping in barrels’ scene."...and that's exactly what they found.

The almost week long filming at Pelorus river was a real treat for Stephen Hunter (Bombur) who said "My favourite day on set, unquestionably, was floating down the Pelorus River in barrels … way cool, and if they ever make it a ride… life time pass please". Lucky for you, you can experience it for yourself on a fully guided kayak tour of the famous film location with Pelorus Eco Tours.

“A few of us – me, Jimmy Nesbit, Dean O’Gorman - hired a house in Marlborough and went wine tasting. It was an absolutely glorious, amazing way to spend a weekend. Tasting the exquisite wine – was absolutely wonderful - that’s a really great place to visit.” - Luke Evans (Bard)

Pelorus bridge is an easy drive from Blenheim, taking you past seemingly endless rows of vines as you drive past many cellar doors, a brilliant opportunity to stop for a winery lunch. If you can't pry yourself away from the stunning views out towards the Marlborough Sounds, jump on the Queen Charlotte Drive from Picton, which hugs the Marlborough Sounds through to Havelock, before arriving at the Pelorus Scenic Reserve. 

and just minutes away from the town of Havelock. The area is a popular local spot, great for swimming, fishing, camping and day trips.

Book a Kayak Tour

Book a Kayak Tour

Kayak and see the location where the barrel scene was filmed, and stand where Sir Peter Jackson stood.

Go for a walk

Go for a walk

There are plenty of tracks around this beautiful scenic reserve, taking you through ancient forest and to the edge of the beautiful Pelorus River.

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