With plenty of sunshine and a mild climate throughout the year, Marlborough is one destination that can be fully enjoyed no matter when you visit. Occupying the north eastern corner of the South Island, the Marlborough Sounds are not to be missed and can be enjoyed by a scenic cruise from Picton. The bordering forest that rises almost vertically from the water’s edge provides a spectacular backdrop to the crystal clear waters. Alternatively, slow down and unwind at one of the many vineyards in the area or escape to a beach for a true experience of complete seclusion.
Highlights of Marlborough
Art makes up a large part of Marlborough's culture, and a great place to start exploring this is at the Millennium Public Art Gallery. The Art Gallery offers a varied and ever-changing program of exhibitions and events from Marlborough's own artists as well as recognised painters, sculptors and photographers, so no matter when you visist, there's always something worth seeing.
Indulge further with a visit to Marlborough's Artisan Market, which takes place every Saturday morning. As you wander round the stalls, you'll get a real taste of Marlborough's unique arts, crafts food and produce offering with live music and fresh coffee for all.
You can't visit Marlborough and not take in the incredible vistas of the great Marlborough Sounds. The Queen Charlotte Track, one of New Zealand's best-known tramping and biking trails, offers a journey through the Sounds like no other. You'll take in spectacular views of both Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds as you make your way through the lush coastal bush and bays either by foot or by bike. There's plenty of opportunity to spot the native wildlife, too, with the weka, kiwi, and rare king shag all calling the area their home.
For a closer look of the Sounds, you'll need to venture out by boat. There's a host of cruises and kayaking excursions to choose from, or sail a luxury yacht for something really special. Or you can get a bit more adventurous and opt for diving or swimming in the area.
Marlborough's food and wine
An area famous for its premier wine regions and for its world renowned sauvignon blanc, there are plenty of vineywards to visit in the Wairau and Awatere valleys. You can choose to follow a gourmet cycle track, but we recommend visiting in time for the Marlborough Wine and Food Festival. The annual event takes place in autumn every February and is the most fantastic way to sample the region's unique selection of world-class wine and delicious local cuisine.