Insider Guides

We believe travelling is all about finding those cool, hidden spots only the locals know about. Meet some of our real locals who know the region inside out!

Karen Walshe
Karen Walshe

“Marlborough has fantastic scenery and you really get to appreciate that as you’re out on your bike and in among the vineyards. It’s often fine and warm and it’s just lovely to be out there."

My
top Must Dos

Soak up the view at Brancott Estate

Soak up the view at Brancott Estate

Hire bikes

Taste sauvignon blanc

Walk the Queen Charlotte Track

Classic Fighters Airshow

Swim in the Pelorus River

Marlborough Farmers’ Market

My favourite place

Wine tours
Wine tours

Karen Walshe has what most people would call “ a dream job”. Karen runs Explore Marlborough - a company that run self -guided and guided biking wine tours of the Marlborough wine region. “It is the perfect combination of great people, beautiful scenery, fresh air, gentle biking and great wines. The only downside is that I don’t get to sample the wines while out on tour” says Karen.


A day wine touring on a bike is so much more than just visiting the winery cellar doors. Being able to bike slowly along a quiet country road or along a bike path and just savour the stunning views across the vines to the mountains that ring the valley. Or after biking along the river stop-bank beside the beautiful Wairau river, stopping beside a vine and learning about what is happening in the vineyard and why. These experiences are what turns a good day of wine tasting into a life-long memory.


“The wineries and their wines are undoubtedly the hero of the day though. Marlborough has an amazing array of wines. We are known around the world for Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon is often the reason why our guests choose to visit Marlborough. However in addition to the range of delicious Sauvignons it is the quality and variety of our other wine varieties that surprises people and they often leave with bottles of our Pinot Noir or aromatics”


The other thing our clients love are the stories of the people behind the wine: “Meeting people at the wineries and hearing how they got there and what their lives involve. They are often ex-professionals who have escaped the city and come to do something lifestyle based, but there are also people who have lived here their whole lives, and watched the transformation of the region as vines covered the valleys.”


She says a wine trail bike ride – either by tour or self-guided -- is a great way to get a taste for Marlborough’s wine country.


“Marlborough has fantastic scenery and you really get to appreciate that as you’re out on your bike and in among the vineyards. It’s often fine and warm and it’s just lovely to be out there. We have a number of our clients email us and say ‘that was the best day we’ve had in New Zealand’.”

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