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Row of beautiful grape yard before sunset with mountain in Blenheim, New Zealand 5 days 4 nights

Family weekend escape
to Marlborough

JOURNEY OUTLINE
TRIP PROFILE
Trip Length: 5 days, 4 nights
Start: Blenheim
Finish: Picton
Best time to visit: Year round
Must do highlights:
  • Omaka Aviation Centre interactive centre appealing to all age groups
  • Brancott Estate Kareara or native falcon
  • Queen Charlotte Sound mail boat cruise
  • Walk or cycle Marlborough’s tracks through vineyards & coastal sounds
  • Pelorus River kayaking adventure for all age groups
ROUTE MAP

Where is Blenheim & Picton: 27 km, 30 minutes

PROPOSED ITINERARY
About Trip
Weekend in Marlborough
Family weekend escape

An awesome journey with exceptional savings in accommodation while splurging on guided kayaking tours, an family friendly way to participate in the Queen Charlotte Track great walk and having fun at a heritage aviation museum. Marlborough is often overlooked by visitors and New Zealanders alike intent on getting to Nelson. Marlborough is worth a detour with its wide open spaces, iconic Queen Charlotte Sounds and surprises around every corner.

Marlborough Sounds, South Island, New Zealand

Day One
Arrive in Blenheim
Omaka Aviation Centre

Half day to relax, unwind from the week day bustle and get into the family holiday spirit. Get the food supplies stocked and get ready to visit Omaka Aviation Centre. Let’s get into the fun stuff straight away. Omaka Aviation Museum is stunning. Interactive exhibits and movement immerses visitors into the world of heritage aircraft. The role of the World War I vintage planes is imaginatively narrated with visitors fascinated by the fragile nature of the craft, the small size of the plane and the courage of those early pilots. For many visitors it is a repeat visit due to the popularity of the venue. This is an indoor activity.

Omaka Air Show @Tim Cuff

Stay

Blenheim TOP 10 Holiday Park @Booking

Blenheim TOP 10 Holiday Park Marlborough | TOP 10 for three nights. This camping ground has been recommended for its location, the facilities to keep younger children entertained with a playground and the space to kick a ball. There are areas where a river is unfenced. Supervision of smaller children would be necessary.

Day Two
Morning
A flat easy boardwalk

The family is off to find a rusting shipwreck without getting your feet wet. A flat easy boardwalk introduces family members to the habitat of the Wairau Lagoon as well as the rusting hulk of the Waverley wreck sitting on the estuary mud. The lagoon has witnessed people seafood gathering for over 800 years. Today it is a rich feeding ground for numerous birds and fish. This is a free DOC walkway.

Long wooden walkway disappearing into distance through wetland nature in Wairau Lagoons

Afternoon
Vineyard Tours

You will have worked up an appetite from the walk. Blenheim has a variety of cafes and takeaway outlets on its main street. Check out what is available or return to your accommodation for a refresh and a bit to eat. Your next call is to find out more about the falcon on your $20.00 note. The Karearea, native falcon is under threat due to loss of habitat. The New Zealand falcon is one of the fastest birds in the world. Visitors are introduced to one of the fastest birds in the world. The birds are bred and raised to ensure their continued safety. The falcon is the country’s most threatened bird of prey, with only around 3000–5000 breeding pairs remaining. NOTE Forward bookings are essential for falcon viewing.

Vineyards near Blenheim

Indoors alternative
Queen Charlotte Sounds

Observe the mail being delivered to communities whose only access is by water. You will be involved in the lives of people who live and work in remote homes where the postal service is a vital link to the outside world.

Designed to take you off the beaten tourist path so you can experience the real Queen Charlotte Sounds / Tōtaranui. Forward bookings recommended.

Queen Charlotte Sound @Marlborough Marinas

Day Three
Picton
Queen Charlotte Track

Time to pack the bags and move to Picton for the Queen Charlotte Track adventure, a Rai River Rafting experience and some free time to perhaps revisit Omaka Aviation Centre or spend time in the local museum. You have a handy travel guide for inspiration on what to see and do.

Queen Charlotte Track view

Stay

@Picton TOP 10 Holiday Park

Motels, villas, cabins to chalets, powered camping sites to unpowered sites there is a place for all preferences. Located just ten minutes to the town centre and across the road from the freshly redeveloped Picton Marina, our park offers a range of accommodation for couples, families and groups, along with all the communal facilities you need for a fun, relaxing holiday.

Day Four
Morning
Picton to Havelock

Free time to explore Picton before your 1 hour road trip to Havelock. Remember to check our travel guide for inspiration.

Aerial view of Picton town and Marlborough Sounds in New Zealand

Afternoon
Kayaking

Free time to explore Picton before your 1 hour road trip to Havelock. Remember to check our travel guide for inspiration.

Pelorus Bridge is a tiny locality in Marlborough, New Zealand where the Rai River meets Pelorus River

Day Five
Checkout
Return

Your checkout will be at 11.00am. For passengers on the InterIslander Ferry ensure you have checked ferry departure times as you require at least 1 hour prior to sailing to check in vehicles and/or passengers. For visitors who are either staying longer or travelling further south a vineyard tour will entice you back for a return visit. You have explored Blenheim, Picton, Havelock, Pelorus Reserve, Queen Charlotte Sounds, and there is always Kaikoura just down the road to go to next. Of course a stopover in Blenheim is always a good idea. Once you have a taste of Marlborough you are hooked.

Pelorus Reserve, Rai River swing bridge

Travel Pack Information

Sheep at the Marlborough Sounds (Okuri Bay)

  • Day 1: Wairau Lagoon Marlborough online article Wairau Lagoons.
  • Omakao Aviation Centre you can book online closer to your departure. There should be no issues with the maximum number of people at the centre limiting visitor numbers.

 

The journey is worth it

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