Unmistakably wine country
Situated at the top of the South Island, Marlborough’s dry and sunny climate makes it one of New Zealand’s biggest wine growing regions. Add to that an abundance of fresh, locally caught seafood along with a huge selection of cafes and restaurants and you know you’re in foodie heaven.
But what about the outdoors and adventure – you can’t exactly sit around quaffing good wine all day can you? Geographically, one of the most recognisable features of the region are the Marlborough Sounds, a number of linked sea inlets that visitors first encounter when approaching the South Island by ferry.
These intricate waterways and surrounding hills are a coastal paradise covered in native bush filled with birdlife. While some of the landscape is accessible by road, many secluded beaches and sheltered coves are not accessible on foot and best explored from the water, with guided and self-guided kayak tours being a popular option.
Top things to do in Marlborough
Looking for ideas to help you plan the ultimate New Zealand outdoor adventure? Here are some of the top things for active travellers to see and do in the Marlborough region.
Kayak the Marlborough Sounds
With 1,500km / 932 miles of coastline, the Marlborough Sounds is the perfect place to sea kayak in solitude with only seals, dolphins and penguins for company. Experienced paddlers can hire kayaks for self-guided day or even multi-day adventures. Alternatively, consider a guided option from Marlborough Sounds Adventure Company. They also offer guided multi-activity adventures that include kayaking, hiking and mountain biking.
Walk or mountain bike the Queen Charlotte Track
The 70km / 43 mile Queen Charlotte Track is a dual purpose walking and mountain biking track, recognised as one of New Zealand’s official Great Rides. For much of the way, it follows the ridgeline between the Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds, providing spectacular views as it passes through lush forest and around secluded bays. The track can be walked in 3 – 5 days or cycled in 2 – 3 days. For independent adventurers, details on the track and the available campsites are available on the Department of Conservation website. For guided options, visit the Marlborough Sounds Adventure Company.