Marlborough competes with Nelson’s offering romantic ingredients from beautiful coastal scenery, gourmet food treats, wineries, and unique attractions to suit any taste. There is the quiet beauty of the Queen Charlotte track with luxurious lodges where your bags are seamlessly transported and delicious meals await your arrival.
Best time to go to Marlborough
November to March
Where to take the best photos in Marlborough
- Cullen Point, Queen Charlotte Drive, Marlborough. The short walk leads to a lookout with views of Mahau Sound, as well as the Kaituna and Pelorus estuaries. Glorious photo opportunity of partner looking out across the Mahau Sound, Kaituna and Pelorus estuary.
Getting there: Approximately 4.5 km from Havelock on Queen Charlotte Drive. Walk duration: 10 minutes walk. Cullen Point is well signposted.
- Picton at twilight with the ferry entering the harbour creates a contrast of town lights reflecting into the harbour waters and the majesty of a large ferry slowly floating into view.
- Climb above Picton on the Tirohanga track. The 1.2km Tirohanga trail takes 45 minutes and starts from the southeastern corner of Picton town offers stunning views of the town, the harbour and marine activity.
- Vineyards galore. There are over 100 vineyards with plenty of choice for a perfect sunset moment among the vines. This is a classic photo moment for couples with a gourmet platter, a glass of chilled Sauvigonn Blanc and the two of you together.
- Wairau Lagoon. Evocative, moody with rushes creating an atmospheric sunset moment. And then there is a shipwreck with orange tinted rush, a perfect foil for a sunset photo. This location features as one of the top 10 things to do in Marlborough. Check out the Marlborough regional guide for details.
Adventures in Marlborough
From exploration of the Marlborough Sounds to an exclusive stay at the Herzog vineyard you are spoiled for choice curating your special moments. For more ideas about what to do in Marlborough check out Marlborough guide, things to do and an unforgettable holiday is in the making. Marlborough is brilliant every day.
- Indulge in a scenic flight over the epic Marlborough Sounds with Pelorus Air and land on a private grass runway in the outer Sounds for a beach stop. Enjoy together a brilliant slice of paradise from above.
- Outrageously romantic, Sounds by Sail offers an exhilarating sailing experience in the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand luxury night afloat with a private, skippered 2 hour sail after which your yacht will be moored in a secluded bay. You will be invited to try your hand at sailing and definitely be among the stars. Enjoy a gourmet meal complimented with Marlborough wine, while you marvel at the magic of the Sounds by night before retiring to your cabin. Your skipper will return in the morning to sail you to a waterside resort where you’ll be served breakfast before being returned to your lodgings.
- Pelorus River private kayak tour with gourmet picnic beside the river, guided bush walk to secluded pools, flora & fauna commentary and complimentary photographs of your special day. Your interests are the focus of the day for Pelorus Eco Adventures.
- Swim with dolphins or fur seals in the sheltered inlets and bays of Marlborough Sounds and check out bird sanctuary on Motuara Island. E-Ko Tours offers cruises primarily Queen Charlotte Sound offering visitors a chance to get into the water with bottlenose, common, dusky and hector dolphins and orca.
Where to eat in Marlborough
Marlborough is home to a number of award winning restaurants, bistros and cafes. Due to the ongoing economic uncertainty facing the hospitality industry in Marlborough there have been a number of closures. Marlborough will continue to deliver world class gourmet food experiences now it is a matter of checking first opening hours.
From budget camping under the stars in Department of Conservation campsites to luxury lodges surrounded by forest and water. For an immersive experience arrive by boat. Switch off and let nature set the pace.
The Marlborough Sounds
Hopewell Lodge is framed by native bush and sheltered water encouraging visitors to wind down and grab a hammock to lazily relax into the surroundings. Located in Kenepuru Sound the remote setting is ideal for bush walking, kayaking or exploring the Queen Charlotte Track. Check out the getting there, it’s inspired and the stuff of a dream starts to your special time together.
A jewel in the Marlborough Sounds offering a 5-star luxury retreat. The setting is accessible only by boat and is nestled in its own private bay. Perhaps you want to be whisked by helicopter in style sweeping over the picturesque Sounds on your way in. Gourmet food, superb views of the water, pools, spa, and active visitors are encouraged to use complimentary kayaks, and paddleboards and to go fishing.
A bit of everything … from hillside accommodation featuring scenic views of Endeavor Inlet in premium suites and chalets perfect for couples to family and group apartments or basic rooms for those on a budget. Another option for couples wishing to explore Marlborough Sounds. Queen Charlotte track day exploration is a great way to dip your toes into what is on offer. Walk or bike to Furneaux Lodge for lunch ( 11 km of easy track) and hop onboard a scheduled Cougar Line water taxi back to Punga Cove. Bike hire is available by advance booking.
Vineyards and wineries in Marlborough
Hans Herzog Vineyard
Wrap around vineyard experience is part of Hans Herzog Vineyard cottage stay. Complimentary wine tastings, gourmet food platters and the Wairau River bubbling nearby.
Flanked by vines on all sides, the Hans Herzog Vineyard cottage is about as brilliant Marlborough as you can get. Herzog – all for yourself! For wine lovers combine your special moments with a symphony of wine & food. Thrilled to offer you privileged access to private experiences on our beautiful and luxurious estate, we bring in a private chef who will match a series of creative dishes to our artisan wines and one of us looks after you, revealing everything you like to know about wines.
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