and Nelson are at the north end of the South Island and can be attacked
from either direction. It's a scenic drive north from Christchurch or
a ferry ride south from Wellington. This is a gourmet and wine lover's
paradise offering some of the world's finest wines, perhaps accompanied
by some sublime local scallops.
the region that put NZ wines on the map and is home to more than 30
wineries including famous Cloudy Bay. Here you'll also find the Marlborough
Sounds, a labyrinth of sea-flooded valleys that twist around dense-forested
hills. They are unlike fiords which are flooded glacial valleys. The
deep, blue waters are popular for sailing, kayaking, diving and fishing
(there are plenty of charter boats available).
has a few boutique wineries but is more renowned for its art and craft.
It's a thriving creative community full of bookshops, galleries and
cafés. The clay in the region is sought after by potters and
more than 70 full-time potters work there. You'll also find painters,
glass blowers, jewellers and weavers (the Arts Festival is held in September).
A source of inspiration for the talented locals has to be their surroundings.
Within 90 minutes of the city are three national parks, Nelson Lakes
alpine park, wilderness Kahurangi and the coastal Abel Tasman National
See and Do
Valley, near Nelson, is a great place to have some fun on 4WD motorbikes.
- Even non-fitness
fanatics should try one of the walks. Especially beautiful are the
Queen Charlotte Sound Track and the Abel Tasman walk.
- Visit Marlborough
Sounds for the pristine environment and bird, plant and wildlife (take
a water taxi or a cruise to the Sounds from Picton - Picton is where
the Cook Strait ferry from Wellington docks and is about 30 minutes
from Blenheim and the Marlborough wineries).
in for some hops. All of New Zealand's hops are grown here and you'll
find some of the country's best boutique breweries, like Mac's.
- Pick up a copy
of Art In Its Own Place guide from a Visitor Information centre and
hit the art and craft trail.
- Take a kayak
tour of the Abel Tasman National Park.
- A 4WD tour will
take you to Farewell Spit, 35km of sand on the top northwest corner
of the island (the wading bird sanctuary here is of international
- River fishing
in the Nelson area is terrific and there are a couple of exceptional
lodges that cater for anglers.
- Try some mussels
or salmon, fresh from the cool, clean waters of the Sounds.
- Get a group
together and charter a yacht - they are surprisingly affordable (especially
in peak times).
Itinerary 5 days
(Note: this is only
a sample - once you tell us your areas of interest, we will construct
a personal, suggested itinerary for you.)
- Put this day
aside for either exploring Wellington or taking a leisurely drive
north from Christchurch (stopping at Kaikoura for some whale spotting
on the way). From Wellington catch the early morning ferry on Day
- Explore the
Marlborough Sounds on a cruise or short walk along the Queen Charlotte
- Spoil yourself
with a night in Sounds accommodation or a Blenheim boutique hotel.
- Spend the day
visiting Marlborough's many vineyards and, in the evening, dine on
fine cuisine at one of the wineries or a Blenheim restaurant.
- Head across
the Richmond Ranges to Nelson (2 hours) and spend the afternoon visiting
the art and craft galleries. Dine out on fresh seafood in one of the
many cafés or restaurants.
- Spend all day
exploring the Abel Tasman National Park for a guided sea kayak adventure
or a walk, swim and launch cruise.
- Take the 4WD
safari to farewell Spit bird sanctuary.
Click below for a choice of accommodation options in these regions:
7 3876 4644
7 3876 4645