Just across the Cook Straight from Wellington, Marlborough shares its climate and winemaking prowess with the capital city. The picturesque town of Blenheim is the perfect base to set out on wine tours throughout the region. With a backdrop of mountains and high-quality cafes, restaurants, and bars from which to choose, sit back, relax and enjoy; or opt for a more hands-on approach with any number of the cooking classes in the region. Of course, be sure to pair the good food with good wine.

Explore the Marlborough Sounds from the seaport of Picton. Somewhat kitschy but nonetheless lovely, Picton consists of cafes, galleries, and a floating maritime museum. Mainly though, Picton is the prime location in Marlborough from which to venture out for a boat cruise, fishing, sea kayaking or dolphin watching. Take a Seafood Odyssea cruise to taste the local Cloudy Bay clams and Greenshell mussels, sip sauvignon, and take in the scenery. If you are staying out in the Sounds, it’s a bit more fun than a standard water taxi.

From Picton, you can also reach the Queen Charlotte Track in the Marlborough Sounds. The Queen Charlotte Track, one of the country’s leading hiking tracks, is renowned for its breathtaking views and coastal beauty. Tip: You need a pass to hike or bike along the 70km stretch from historic Ship Cove through to Anakiwa in the Grove Arm of Queen Charlotte Sound. Trust us, it’s worth it!

Consider taking the ferry from Picton to Wellington (or vice versa) to connect the North and South Island across the Cook Straight. It’s one of the most beautiful ferry rides you’ll ever take and a great way to take in the majesty of the Sound.

Our favorite accommodation in Marlborough

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