Whether you live in New Zealand or have decided to visit, the Marlborough region is definitely worth a visit. While best known for its wine the area has a lot of other things to offer. Lets take a look at seven great things you can do during your stay.
Marlborough is located at the top of the South Island and as such means much of it is close to the sea. Typically within an hour or two you can be seated on the sand with your shoes off dipping your toes in the water. While you're there you could participate in any number of water activities like fishing, water skiing, swimming, or diving. If water is not your thing you can take in the scenery while you take a walk along one of the coastal tracks.
If you've heard of Marlborugh before you have probably heard it in relation to the wonderful wines which are created there. In fact the area has over 19000 hectares of grapes growing in it. The hills sourrounding the area create a unique micro-climate with hot dry summers and cool winters which makes for ideal conditions for growing grapes. Blenheim is the main town in the Marlborough region and has over 50 wineries close by. You are able to book a tour to view some of them or make your own way around. A number of the wineries offer tasting and sales.
Riverside RailwayThe riverside railway is a vintage 2 foot gauge rail which runs for several kilometers along the river in Blenheim. This project started over 20 years ago and today is one of the longest vintage 2 foot gauge rails in the southern hemisphere. The trip lasts an hour or so and only costs a few dollars. Well worth it.
Much of New Zealand's table salt is created by solar evaporation in the Marlborough region. Lake Grassmere are man made ponds which are flooded with salt water directly from the sea. The many long hours of sun over summer slowly evaporate the water leaving behind the salt which is harvested and processed. As the salt concentration increases the ponds turn a bright pink colour. This is due to a tiny brine shrimp which likes to live in water with a high salt content.
Blues Brews and Barbeques and Wine and Food Festival
Both of these events celebrate much of the food and beverages produced in the area and are very popular. Both are worthwhile attending if you happen to be in the area when they are on which is usually early in the year.
While I'm not sure that the Rainbow Ski field is technically in the Marlborough region it is still very close by and a popular ski spot just a couple of hours drive from Blenheim.
Fresh water fishing
Ok I know I mentioned fishing in the first point I'm going to mention it again as there are many excellent rivers to try your hand at some fresh water fishing. You are most likely to catch brown trout but may also get rainbow trout or salmon if you're lucky.
Note: In New Zealand you must purchase a fishing license to fish in fresh water.