Our Region

Blenheim, Renwick and Wairau

Blenheim in Marlborough, New Zealand

Marlborough's main town, Blenheim, has great cafes, galleries and shops wrapped up within the picturesque Taylor and Opawa rivers, a short distance to the region's world famous wineries.

There's an abundance of vineyards and cellar doors surrounding Blenheim, so explore the stunning Wairau Valley and discover why the world is in love with Marlborough wine.

Central Blenheim is best explored by foot, with an abundance of great cafes, restaurants shops and galleries, along with popular walkways along the Taylor River Reserve.

Walk a little further afield to get to Pollard Park, a beautiful botanical garden, playground, golf course and exercise trail.

The Marlborough Farmers’ Market is held at the A&P Showgrounds every Sunday morning and the Marlborough Artisan Market is on in town on Saturdays.

A short drive or bike ride will take you to the world-class Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, where World War One history comes to life thanks to the talents of the team behind The Lord of the Rings.

The centre’s Knights of the Sky exhibition features The Hobbit director Sir Peter Jackson’s personal collection of WW1 aircraft and memorabilia. This story of aviation in the Great War is brought to life in sensational sets created by the internationally acclaimed talent of WingNut Films and Weta Workshop.

Captivating scenes depict the aircraft in context, sometimes recreating an incident that actually happened in the war. Rare memorabilia is on display, worthy of any national collection and ranges from beautifully crafted ‘trench art’ through to personal items belonging to the famous Red Baron.

Or head to the historic Brayshaw Park and Marlborough Museum, where exhibitions include Te Pokohiwi - The Wairau Bar 1250 AD, a land mark exhibition of the Wairau Bar archaeology site, place of the earliest known graves in the country and key to understanding daily life in the 13th century.

Marlborough’s world famous wine industry is on Blenheim’s back doorstep in the Wairau Valley, so make sure you taste its sublime wines amid the vines that grew them.

Head to nearby cellar doors for a taste of Marlborough’s flagship sauvignon blanc, along with award winning aromatics, pinot noir and sparkling wine.

Lunch at a vineyard restaurant to try some amazing local cuisine, including garlic, asparagus, olive oil and cherries grown in the Wairau Valley, and King (Chinook) salmon, oysters and Greenshell mussels from the Marlborough Sounds.

The Wairau Valley is also home to rich heritage and ecology, and a great way to learn more about both is on a kayak trip on the Wairau Lagoons, where Royal Spoonbill, shag, bartailed godwit, herons and terns can be spotted. Learn some of the history of Maori here, and of whalers and pioneering settlers.

Garden Marlborough

Events

Enjoy workshops and tours at the Garden Marlborough Festival, and be sure to stay in town for the famous Fete at Seymour Square.

Garden Marlborough

Blenheim i-SITE Visitor Information Centre

Hit the snow

Activities

Head to Rainbow Ski Field for great skiing and boarding, for the whole family. Just 90 minutes drive from Blenheim.

Hit the snow

Rainbow Ski Area

Drink craft beer & eat pizza

Wine & Food

Eat pizza and drink Rennaissance craft beer at Dodson’s, looking through to the brewery at work or enjoying the sun in the garden.

Drink craft beer & eat pizza

Dodson Street Beer Garden

Taste sauvignon blanc

Wine & Food

Explore the sub regional variation with sauvignon blanc as well as the different ways wine makers approach the wine, including those using oak and age.

Taste sauvignon blanc

Blenheim i-SITE Visitor Information Centre

Whitehaven GrapeRide

Events

Competitive recreational ride through some of the most stunning natural scenery. Starting at The Vines Village, experience vineyards of the Wairau plains, the head of Queen Charlotte and Pelorus Sounds, the Greenshell mussel capital of Havelock and then all the way to the finish line at back at The Vines Village.

 Whitehaven GrapeRide

Blenheim i-SITE Visitor Information Centre

Marlborough Heritage

For those wanting a cultural and historical experience, the following itinerary showcases the best of Marlborough’s art and heritage.

Marlborough Heritage

Related Guide:

Biking
Accommodation

Biking

Mountain bike Marlborough’s epic high country trails and coastal ridges, road bike undulating routes at the edge of the sea, tour on long flat runs through vine-clad valleys or take the whole family biking along one of the region’s many rivers.

Marlborough boasts brilliant weather, stunning scenery and an abundance of acclaimed mountain and road trails, including a Great Ride and three Trails along the New Zealand Cycle Trail, Nga Haerenga.

This pedaller’s paradise has thrilling adventure, low key rides, and everything in-between.

Read our guide

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