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marlborough & nelson regional information | back to regions & attractions
Marlborough 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.
Marlborough is New Zealand's largest grape growing and wine making region with 65 wineries, 290 grape growers and 4054 hectares in grape production. Nearly all of the wineries welcome visitors for tasting sessions and many have a cafe or restaurant on site.
Before the wine industry came along, Marlborough's fame lay with its sounds - sunken valleys that are home to all kinds of wonderful bird and sea life, including terns, shags, blue penguins, dolphins and seals.
The Nelson region is surrounded by sheltering mountain ranges, giving it a mediterranean-type climate. Nelson is known for its year-round sunshine, golden beaches, national parks, boutique wineries, micro breweries and a large creative community of working artists. Add to this locally grown produce, freshly caught seafood, historical streetscapes and waterfront restaurants and you'll see that it offers a thoroughly pleasurable way of life.
From Nelson it's easy to access any of three National Parks, including Abel Tasman National Park which is renown for its fabulous sea kayaking, The Nelson Lakes National Park set amidst the mountains and glaciated valleys south of Nelson city, and Kahurangi, New Zealand's second-largest national park, with magnificent three to four-day hiking trails.
For some suggested itineraries that include Marlborough and Nelson, please click here.
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