Take a spell in the sunniest regional capital in New Zealand (and the beating heart of the Marlborough wine region), flourishing Blenheim. From its fertile bush land to its rugged coastline and, of course, the most divine gourmet food and wine on offer, Blenheim will have your senses bursting at the seams.
Smell the flowers and relax in the sunshine in Seymour Square, walk though the sickly sweet aroma of the luscious Hedgerows Strawberry Farm, or join the pilgrimage with the wine-lovers of the world with a Wines of Marlborough Tour. And this being New Zealand, you can’t spend time in Blenheim without doing something that’s a little on the wild side. Water-skiing and kayaking fit the bill, but you can do that pretty much anywhere. So how about whale-watching at Kaikoura or swimming with dolphins in the Marlborough Sounds for something truly unique and unforgettable?
BLENHEIM’S TOP 10
|10. Lansdowne Park Catch a game of rugby and see how the Kiwis play. Feel free to heckle, of course – it’s in our blood.||5. Pollard Park Ramble through the roses and saunter through the sunflowers.|
|9. Wither Hills Take in the stunning views of the Wairau Valley with a trek along the peaks of these lovely hills.||4. Villa Maria Estate At the top of the big league, this winemaker has awards coming out of its ears. Try the black-label pinot noir and your taste buds will sing.|
|8. Marlborough Farmers’ Market Take a stroll though this boutique selection of local growers, to the beat of some fantastic live music.||3. Millennium Public Art Gallery A gold-coin donation will get you a peek into the Blenheim art scene.|
|7. Blenheim Golf Club Swing your way through the nine holes of this small but fantastic course.||2. Marlborough Provincial Museum Check out some local heritage as you wander through this awesome collection of artefacts.|
|6. Mud House Village Enjoy some wine and coffee, then choose a scrumptious liqueur or fruit brandy for the road.||1. Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre Chock-full of WWI planes and a Peter Jackson-esque Weta Workshop, this centre is a must.|
For some very self-explanatory merriment, head over to Blues, Brews and BBQs in February.
The Havelock Mussel Festival every March is a shellfish-lover’s paradise.
Take a gander (or perhaps a pedal) at the Forrest Graperide Cycle Race through the Marlborough region every autumn.
Pick up some of the finest in new (and sumptuous) wines at the Marlborough Wine Weekend in October.
For some beautiful greenery, head along to the Hunters Garden Marlborough in November.
WHEN TO GO
- Blenheim has been named ‘New Zealand’s Sunniest Town’ for good reason. Summers are warm and relatively dry, while winters are nice and crisp.
- January is both the warmest (24ºC (75ºF) average) and sunniest month.
- Conversely, July is both the coldest (13ºC (55ºF)) and wettest (70mm (2.8 inch
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