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Family fun

Best things for families to do in Marlborough, NZ

  • 3 minutes

Marlborough is one of New Zealand’s great family holiday destinations. There is not a shopping mall in sight however for families who enjoy browsing the farmers markets Marlborough will not disappoint. For information about the Queen Charlotte Track  or where to find a great walk in Marlborough check the Marlborough travel guide for tips for a great holiday.

Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre
Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre


  • Omaka Aviation Centre with interactive video exhibits, actual planes that continue to fly in airshows, fascinating stories of the importance of planes in the history of New Zealand and elsewhere. Vintage planes that look as though they are made of cardboard with open cockpits intrigue kids and the magic of the annual airshow with fighter planes
  • Sail your own yacht for the day with the kids at the wheel. (You will have help at hand with a professional pilot on board). This is an extraordinary adventure for kids as you cruise the Marlborough Sounds, drop anchor and swim off a newly discovered beach
  • Wither Hills Farm park animals and walks is a classic urban kid introduction to nature with panoramic views of Marlborough
  • Go cycling as a family around the local cycle trails in Blenheim along the riverwalk shared pathway
  • Raft the Pelorus River and find out where Peter Jackson, movie magician, created the movie scene for the film Lord of the Rings. Enjoy rapids suitable for most age groups and jump into the Pelorus River for a dip afterwards
Wither Hills, working farm, open to public, Marlborough, New Zealand
Wither Hills
Momorangi Bay, Marlborough, New Zealand @beansprout_twiglet_and_noodle
Momorangi Bay, Marlborough @beansprout_twiglet_and_noodle


  • Go water bombing off the jetty, find a wharf to drop a line to catch your next meal.
  • Picnic on the Picton foreshore next to the enormous shady palms and watch the interisland ferry magnetically sail into the Picton terminal.

There is a very good water splash playground in the vicinity, Check out Swim, picnic and outdoors guide for places to go in Marlborough.

  • Go mountain biking on the Queen Charlotte Track. The trail is a designated ‘Great Ride.’


  • Observe Royal Spoonbills in Wairau Lagoon and find a rusting shipwreck, The Waverley as you peer under the boardwalk for eels and local fish
  • Go walking and find historic info … Captain James Cook landing spot he favoured for a picnic or two. The Captain managed over 100 days in total at anchor in Ship Cove
  • Visit Lochmara Resort on a Picton cruise and observe the underwater aquarium, the nature reserve and go for local walks exploring the area
  • Learn how to sea kayak in the calm quiet Sounds inlets as you camp in the Department of Conservation campsite.
Royal Spoonbill New Zealand bird resident Wairau Lagoon
Royal Spoonbill New Zealand bird resident Wairau Lagoon
Perano Whaling Station, Marlborough, New Zealand @MarlboroughNZ
Perano Whaling Station @MarlboroughNZ


  • Find a resorted ship Edwin Fox and hear stories of how a former slave ship ended up in Picton and visit the Picton heritage and whaling museum to hear stories about whalers and the harsh living conditions surrounding the whaling industry. Discover the story of the Perano Whaling Station.
  • Delve into the world of whaling and go on a whale tour. In Cook Strait and Tory Channel whaling continued until the 1960’s. The evidence of whaling and the ‘robber economy’ is graphically illustrated at Perano Whaling Station. The Tory Channel in the Marlborough Sounds is where whaling finally ceased in New Zealand.

Arapawa Island is where whalers spotted whales on their annual migration from lookouts. Perano Head, is where Australian ex-convict John Guard set up Te Awaiti whaling station on Arapawa Island. An easy way to get to Arapawa Island is with E-Ko tours on a whale experience tour.


Check STAY for where to stay on Arapawa Island

  • Discover stories about happenings over 800 years ago when east Polynesians landed at Wairau bar and view the physical archeological objects from their pa (village) site in the Marlborough museum. Combine this with a boardwalk out to the Wairau Bar and Lagoon.



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