Flights to Blenheim, Marlborough
Astonishing wine, delectable food, plentiful sunshine and the spectacular Marlborough Sounds - these are very good reasons to put Blenheim on your holiday radar.
Things to do in Blenheim, Marlborough
If riding a bike sedately from cellar door to cellar door sounds like your idea of fun, Marlborough is your sort of place. It has more sauvignon blanc plantings than anywhere else in New Zealand, as well as a smattering of pinot noir, chardonnay, pinot gris and riesling vines, to bring variety to your tasting tour. From the small township of Renwick, there are more than 25 welcoming wineries within a 24-kilometre circuit.
You won't have to pack a picnic, because there are vineyard cafes and restaurants in every direction. Local delicacies include green-lipped mussels from Havelock, Marlborough salmon and blue cod. Serendipitously, they all pair perfectly with the local sauvignon blanc. Bike hire is easy to arrange - it might even be provided by your accommodation.
Local delicacies include green-lipped mussels from Havelock, Marlborough salmon and blue cod. Serendipitously, they all pair perfectly with the local sauvignon blanc.
Before the days of wine and cellar doors, the Marlborough region's chief claim to fame was its sounds - extraordinary sea-drowned valleys created when ocean levels rose around 10,000 years ago. This marine wonderland can be explored by mountain bike, on foot, by kayak or on a cruise.
Queen Charlotte Track is one of the most popular adventures in the area. Measuring 67 kilometres from end to end, it passes through lush coastal forest, around coves and inlets, and along skyline ridges that deliver breath-taking views of sky, ocean, beaches and bays. You can get out there for one day or several, with or without a guide. You can camp under the stars or bed down in a comfortable lodge. And you can go in spring, summer, autumn or winter.
Marlborough is also loved for its gardens. The strength of the UV light and the brightness of the Marlborough sky seem to boost the natural colour of flowers. At the local lavender farms, the flowers almost glow with the purest shade of purple. It's not just lavender farms that benefit from the intensity of the light. Visit Pollard Park in Blenheim during summer and bask in the glory of the roses. Drive to Seddon and see Barewood - a large country garden known for its beds of perennials, bulbs and old-fashioned roses.
Just an hour's drive north east from Blenheim is the Nelson Lakes National Park, where the alpine village of St Arnaud sits at the edge of Lake Rotoiti. This is the place to see pristine beech forest and glacier-cut valleys. A network of tracks leads to the park's most memorable places.
Best time to go
This region has relatively low rainfall compared to the rest of New Zealand; it also has high sunshine hours. While summer is the busiest time for tourism, spring or autumn are smart choices if you want to avoid crowds. Winter days can be glorious - just wear an extra layer or two.
How much will it cost?
Not including air travel and hotels, you should allow about NZD $100 to $150 a day per person for food and entertainment.
There are no mandatory vaccinations required for visitors to New Zealand.
Flying with Air New Zealand
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Auckland (AKL) to Blenheim (BHE)
Wellington (WLG) to Blenheim (BHE)
*Flight times are based on the fastest route available.
**Indirect flights may also be available for this route.