When it comes to wine, the hills of Marlborough are alive with the sweet aroma of Sauvignon Blanc. This area on the northern tip of the South Island is renowned for its award-winning wine, and with over 160 different wineries, the area is New Zealand’s leading region for growing and exporting wine. Even with all of its accolades, however, there’s more to Marlborough than clinking glasses in sunny, grape-filled fields. Grab some boots and hike the length of the 42-mile Queen Charlotte Track—a serpentine route through the myriad curves of coastal Marlborough Sound. Explore the back roads of Marlborough’s coast and camp in its hidden bays, where Maori, whalers, and shipwrecked sailors have all left historical marks. Picton is the port of call for the ferry that crosses the strait to Wellington, but is also a town with salty charm and authentic maritime heritage. Hire a bike and explore the trails that weave through Marlborough Sound, or enjoy a glass of Sauvignon in one of Blenheim’s café. Or, to mix adventure with Marlborough’s vineyards, pedal your way between tasting rooms by hiring a bike in Blenheim, and drink in the rolling, Marlborough scenery in one of New Zealand’s sunniest spots.
The Marlborough region is located four hours from Christchurch via the coastal road through Kaikoura. By ferry, the town of Picton is approximately three hours from the capital city of Wellington, or it’s also possible to fly into regional airports in Blenheim as well as Nelson.