Situated on the northeast of the South Island, the Marlborough region is an impressive maze of sea-flooded valleys and almost uninhabited hills. It was in one of these inlets called "sounds" that Captain James Cook first came cross-paths with the Māori people. The main town, Picton, is the ferry port for the North Island.
Marlborough is also known for being the largest wine region in the country. From 18 vineyards in the 1990s, their number now exceeds 160! We have a privileged partnership with Clos Henri, which specializes in the production of organic wine. The owners bought and build within a small wooden church there which is now used as a tasting room.
Very famous in Europe, Cloudy Bay is also one of our heart strokes. We also suggest Montana Brancott for its view and Wither Hills for its very 'kiwi' facet with the possibility of its outdoor wine tastings on beanbags. Also, Blader mainly undertakes its wine harvest by hand.
If you are not a wine lover, you can enjoy sea activities with a cruise in the Queen Charlotte Sound, very appreciated by walkers with its superb path. For a more discrete and authentic approach, you can also explore Pelorus Sound aboard the mail boat, which supplies the remoted inhabitants who live there year-round. In the direction of Havelock, follow the Queen Charlotte Road which winds through the Sound, revealing exceptional panoramas and atmospheres.
The Omaka Aviation Center is a must-see museum for anyone with a keen historic interest of the First or Second World War and air battles. Some collectors' planes belong to the New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson. You will be able to fly in a vintage aircraft if you feel like it.
Beyond these exciting but touristy experiences, we suggest spending time at Pelorus Bridge, where locals love to swim in the river.
Molesworth is the longest 4x4 track in the country, and we offer it in our itineraries dedicated to this theme. It leaves from Marlborough to join Hanmer Springs. You will cover 180 km of track in the middle of magnificent landscapes where you will only meet locals. This approach without particular driving difficulty is an excellent option not to miss the essentials while isolating yourself promptly in the middle of superb decorations.
Marlborough is a region that will surprise you and maybe the subject of an epicurean stroke on your journey.
OUAT organised a great trip on the Hollyford Track. The lodges were wonderful with the most decisions food. The guides really knowledgeable and friendly....
Susie and Alice Hoddell, UK
Carolyn, I thought we should tell you how much we enjoyed the trip. NZ was great - the people, the food, the scenery. We liked all the places you booked for...
Glynis Williams, USA
Every detail was just right. Once Upon A Trip made our New Zealand experience an absolute delight. All of the places we over-nighted, the camper we rented...
Shelley Sweeney, USA