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!

Manaaki Aunties
Tineka Smith, Carleen Phillips & Donna Nepia

"Of course our favourite place in Marlborough is Omaka Marae. The marae is a sacred place where we go to immerse ourselves in our Māori culture and tikanga practices."

top Must Dos

Visit Ship Cove

Visit Ship Cove

Set sail in the Sounds

Swim in the Pelorus River

Royal Spoonbills in Wairau Lagoons

My favourite place

Omaka Marae
Tineka Smith, Carleen Phillips & Donna Nepia

Describe yourself and what you do in 3 words/phrases

Here are three words that we think best describes the new generation of “Aunties” of Omaka Marae:

Manaaki – To give hospitality, and generosity and care for others
Wāhine toa – Strong passionate Māori women
Auaha – Creative and innovative

Where is your favourite place in Marlborough?

Of course our favourite place in Marlborough is Omaka Marae. The marae is a sacred place where we go to immerse ourselves in our Māori culture and tikanga practices.

It is also the place where we champion many initiatives including “Manaaki” a Social Enterprise of Omaka Marae. Our Aunties support the production Manaaki, a delicious range of Māori inspired preserves and condiments including Kawakawa Jelly, Kamokamo Pickle and a Horopito and Lemon Sauce.

If you had only 3 days in Marlborough, how would you spend the time?

We would spend our time exploring sights of significance to Māori whilst enjoying some of the best kai Marlborough has to offer.

1. A quick breakfast at BV Gourmet Cafe followed by a day exploring the Wairau…a birdwatching walk on the Wairau Lagoons Walkway, a swim in the Wairau river, or a drive up the Awatere Valley to view the majestic mountain Tapuae o Uenuku.

2. Pack a picnic basket full of artisan delights from the foodstore Pataka, and head to Picton  and visit a traditional Pā site at Karaka Point, or cruise the Queen Charlotte Sounds  stopping in at the historic Meretoto or Ships Cove.

3. Enjoy a tasty lunch at Vines Village and then drive through to Te Hoiere or Pelorus River for stunning native forest walks followed by a relaxing dip in one of the tranquil swimming holes.

Marlborough is world famous for our wines, what’s your ideal way to enjoy a glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc?

Why stop at one glass…we would head into the Wine station and sample several tastings of Marlborough’s famous drop, and indulge in one of their gorgeous gourmet platters showcasing some of Marlborough and New Zealand’s leading producers including our Manaaki products.

Marlborough has some delicious local cuisine being produced right here, what’s your favourite local bite to eat?

We love to throw together a Manaaki platter paired with our favourites, Kawakawa Jelly and Cranky Goat Cheese, Kamokamo Pickle and cured meats from Pete the Swiss Butcher, and Horopito and Lemon Sauce with smoked salmon.

Visit the Manaaki website, or check out more about Omaka Marae on their Website or Facebook page.


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