14 August 2017 | Written by Phoebe Joiner

Your Insider’s Guide to Marlborough

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Lying at the top of the South Island, Marlborough is home to some of New Zealand’s best wine and views. Go on a wine trail, take a boat out into the Marlborough sounds or indulge in a bit of the local food. There’s endless activities to do and things to see; here’s a few of the highlights that must not be missed!


Dubbed the sunniest town in New Zealand, this is the place to stay if you’re looking for that world-class Sauvignon Blanc. Blenheim sits at the heart of Marlborough and has over 20 wineries within driving distance, including many of the big names.

Vineyard Highlights

Wither Hills Vineyard, Blenheim, Marlborough

Wither Hills Vineyard (Credit: witherhills.co.nz)

  • Cloudy Bay: One of the original Marlborough vineyards, and a world class one at that! Specialty: Their iconic Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Grove Mill: A way with the grapes and a mind for the earth, Grove Mill makes wonderful wines with a sustainable approach.
  • Mount Riley: This winery is family owned and produces a wide range of excellent wines. They have a number of different vineyards around Blenheim and a beautiful winery & cellar door.
  • Wither Hills: This is an excellent tasting venue. You’ll get to sample their large range of delicious wines, all while looking over the stunning Wairau Valley.
  • Highfield: Situated on the Brookby Ridge in a Tuscan-style villa, the Highfield cellar door and restaurant is definitely one not to miss.

For a complete list of wineries (there are a lot), visit the Wines of NZ website. When you’re in Blenheim it’s also worth visiting the i-Site centre to pick up a winery map. Or if you want to spend the least time organising as possible, you can just leave it all up to a tour guide!

MOA Brewery Bar

Moa Brewery, Blenheim, Marlborough

Credit: http://www.moabeer.com/

Take a break from the grapes and get on the hops at the Moa Brewery Bar. Just a short distance from the town centre, Moa Brewery open their cellar doors to tastings every day of the week. You’ll get to try their extensive range of premium beers and ciders – from the classics to the special reserves. Sometimes there’s nothing better than sitting on a bean bag out in the sun with an ice cold beer and local cheeses to match.

Marlborough Sounds

The Marlborough Sounds are a scenic highlight of New Zealand. People travel from all over the world to see the beautiful sea-drowned valleys. Each of the bays along the water’s edge make for perfect holiday locations. There’s nothing like sitting out on a deck with a local wine, gazing out at one of New Zealand’s best views on offer.

View all holiday homes in the area here.


Picton, Marlborough Sounds

Credit: www.visitpicton.co.nz

Located at the head of the Queen Charlotte, Picton is an excellent base to experience the Marlborough Sounds. The famous Queen Charlotte track is great for day walks with breathtaking views along the way. If you enjoy a bit of shopping and alternative activities on your holiday, the town itself has a great combination of activities, shops and restaurants. Something worth a special visit is the Lochmara lodge, a wildlife sanctuary that operates cruises out into the sounds, holds art exhibitions and has a sculpture trail.

Find holiday homes in Picton here.

Mahau Sound

Slightly off the beaten track, Mahau Sound is the perfect escape for a relaxing holiday. You’ll be able to get away from the hustle-and-bustle of towns and cities, and spend your days the way you like them; whether it’s fishing, sunbathing, walking or curling up with a book. The Sounds will give you the perfect backdrop for a family holiday or a romantic getaway.

Holidays here are best spent in a comfortable holiday home. Check out what we have to offer here. Also be sure to check out holiday homes in the gorgeous neighbouring Moetapu bay here.


Cullen Point Havelock, Marlborough Sounds

Credit: https://marlboroughnz.com

Situated at the head of the Pelorus Sound, Havelock is a historic town that has been dubbed the green-lipped muscle capital of the world. For that reason, we recommend that you check out the famous Mussel Pot Cafe. Here you can get beautiful mussel taster plates with local wines and craft beers. To explore the Sounds from here we recommend that you take the mail boat out to the Pelorus Sound. Or you can explore the area by land with a walk out to Cullen Point.

Find holiday homes in Havelock here. Otherwise check out holiday homes in the nearby Mahakipawa arm here.


Rarangi is a coastal town just on the East Coast from the Marlborough Sounds. With just a few homes lined up near the water’s edge, it’s a secluded spot to enjoy a holiday with minimal disturbances. Classic beach days are a good way to spend your time here, with a picnic, some swimming and sandcastle building. The Monkey Bay walk will take you up to a rocky point with great views of the Cook Strait in about 20 minutes, perfect for a family walk!

Find holiday homes in Rarangi here.

Over to you…

Do you have any secret spots or favourite activities to do in Marlborough? Let us know by leaving a comment!

Featured Properties in Marlborough

Idyllic Beachside at Mahau Sound


Idyllic Beachside at Mahau Sound, Bachcare Marlborough Sounds Accomodation

This is an idyllic 2 bedroom holiday home offering all the sought after rarities of the Marlborough Sounds: absolute waterfront, all-day sun, a (virtually private) safe swimming beach and quick road access from the major centres! View the listing here.

High Street Haven – Blenheim

High Street Haven, Bachcare Blenheim holiday home

High Street Haven is a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom holiday home within walking distance to town, the supermarket, conference centre library and more! View the listing here.

Tiro Nui – Havelock

Tiro Nui, Bachcare Blenheim holiday home

With breathtaking views of the Mahakipawa Arm, this 2 bedroom plus sleepout Havelock holiday home is a fantastic option for a refreshing escape…Enjoy sunny indoor/outdoor living with a great set up for couples and families, plus easy beach access across the road! View the listing here.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Brooke H

    Awesome write up. Do you have any recommended places to stay if we want to do a vineyard tour in blenheim? Looking at this list https://discoverblenheim.co.nz/accommodation I’m wondering if staying out of town would be best.

    • Phoebe Joiner

      Hi there Brooke! If you want to stay centrally it’s easy enough getting out to the vineyards from there, and that way you’re close to all of the conveniences. You can view our Blenheim holiday homes here to see if any take your fancy: https://www.bachcare.co.nz/holiday-homes-accommodation/marlborough/blenheim
      Happy to help further if you have any more questions!

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