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With its endless bays and inviting coastline, it is easy to comprehend why this region has for centuries provided a safe haven for travelers. The gentle waterways and year-round sunny climate combine to create a mellow, luxuriant ambiance, appropriate for an area where the focus is on the finer things in life.

The Marlborough Sounds and Picton

The Marlborough Sounds, reaching out into the Cook Strait, are a maze of flooded valleys, now hiding some of New Zealand’s most isolated and tranquil retreats. Inland, the township of Picton serves as the gateway to the South Island, greeting the Interislander ferry as it arrives from Wellington.

Blenheim

Just south is Blenheim, and the world-renowned Marlborough wine region, where many an hour can be whiled away sampling the delights of the local wineries and restaurants. A dish of fresh green-lipped mussels accompanied by a glass of chilled sauvignon blanc is certainly a local highlight

National Parks

To the west the land stretches through the contrasting national parks of Nelson Lakes, Kahurangi and Abel Tasman, with the latter famed for its blazing golden sands and long sunny days, a true walker’s delight.

From Maori warriors to European explorers and intrepid travelers, all have been welcomed and sheltered in this idyllic paradise.

Start planning your trip to New Zealand

Start thinking about your experience. These itineraries are simply suggestions for how you could enjoy some of the same experiences as our specialists. They’re just for inspiration, because your trip will be created around your particular tastes.

Some of our favorite places in Nelson & Marlborough

Marlborough vineyard

Sample the award-winning Marlborough wines

Marlborough has achieved world-wide recognition for its outstanding wines, and there are some excellent wineries to visit where you can do tastings and learn more about the local vintages.

View from Peppers Portage Resort Hotel, The Marlborough Sounds

Walk the Queen Charlotte Track

High on a ridge above the picturesque Marlborough Sounds, the Queen Charlotte Track is one of New Zealand's finest walks and can be done in short or multi-day sections

Some of our favorite places in Nelson & Marlborough

Kahurangi National Park

Kahurangi National Park

Kahurangi National Park is the second largest in New Zealand and a great variety of native animals and plants live here.

Picton & The Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand

Marlborough Sounds

Out-of-the-way bays and inlets, kayaking and dolphin-watching, a walking track with near-constant sea views, and a wildlife haven: this is the appeal of the Marlborough Sounds. Then, for a change of scene, the Blenheim winelands lie just down the road.

Fur seal, Otago Peninsula

Nelson

With its thriving crafts scene, Nelson’s an inviting place to include in your New Zealand South Island itinerary. But, it’s also the gateway to the coastal Abel Tasman National Park, and the wilder, much less-visited bird reserve, Farewell Spit.

Accommodation options Nelson & Marlborough