What to Do in Blenheim, New Zealand’s Wine Capital
Well, you know what to do in New Zealand’s wine capital… Drink wine! That’s right, Blenheim is the main town of the Marlborough region, which is New Zealand’s largest winemaking region. It accounts for around 75% of the wine produced in the country, so needless to say, there are lots of opportunities to sample the local produce. However, if you’re looking for a bit of variety for your Blenheim visit then this list of things to do in Blenheim will show you just that! Tackle mountain biking trails, jet boat down the Pelorus River, visit fascinating museums and much more!
1. Hike or Cycle in the Wither Hills Farm Park
A great place to start your visit to the town of Blenheim is at this working cattle and sheep farm situated in the town’s southern boundaries. Use the walking and mountain biking trails to soak up the spectacular views of the surrounding hills, vineyards and town. Both walking and biking tracks are well-signposted from the main entrance onRifle Range Place off Taylor Pass Road.
Location: The main entrance is at Rifle Range Place off Taylor Pass Road. Other accesses include: Taylor Pass Road, Forest Hills Drive, Weld Street, Fyffe Street, Redwood Street, Dry Hills Lane or Cob Cottage Road.
2. Take a Look Around the Marlborough Museum
Get a great introduction to the Marlborough region at the Marlborough Museum! Learn how Marlborough’s viticultural industry began, see Maori artefacts from New Zealand’s earliest settlement, and learn about the lives of the region’s pioneers.
Location: 26 Arthur Baker Place
3. Visit the Blenheim wineries
Sorry that it took us this long to get to the wines! As a town located in the heart of New Zealand’s largest wine-producing region, tasting the local wine, and particularly the Sauvignon Blanc is a must-do! With around 37 cellar doors scattered across the district offering wine tastings, there’s no excuse to not see what all the fuss is about. Check out the 10 Best Wineries in Blenheim for inspiration on which wineries to visit.
Location: All around Blenheim
4. Jump on a Wine Tour
Let someone else handle the driving or hire a bike so you can sample as many wines as you like guilt-free. There are many wine tours to book onto in Blenheim where your local guide will share their favourite wineries with you. Some of our recommendations are Sounds Connection, Marlborough Wine Tours and Explore Marlborough. See the 10 Excellent Wine Tours in New Zealand for more information.
Location: Accommodation pick-ups are included
5. Visit the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre
See vintage aircraft in vivid scenes at this unique display of rare original and replica aircraft at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre. Static scenes have been put together by movie giants Sir Peter Jackson, Wingnut Films and Weta Studios. This museum like no other allows visitors to learn about the evolution of aviation along with stories from some of the first pilots to fly them.
Location: 79 Aerodrome Road
6. Do a Jet Boat Wine Tasting Tour
Experience the gourmet cuisine of the Marlborough region in a unique and exciting way with a private jet boat tour with Pelorus Jet. Enjoy a thrilling ride through the Pelorus Sound and Pelorus River, complete with 360-degree spins and near-misses. Plus, because you’re in the wine and foodie capital of New Zealand, the tour wouldn’t be a Marlborough tour without a seafood lunch and wine tasting at some of Marlboroughs wineries!
Location: Pick-up from your Blenheim accommodation
7. Relax at One of the Town’s Parks
Every New Zealand town has a go-to garden and Pollard Park is Blenheims. Stroll through rose gardens, woodlands, the rhododendron dell, the scented garden and more. If you can’t get enough of the parks, then give Harling Park a go as well! The Japanese garden provides a charming environment for walks and picnicking.
Location: Pollard Park – Parker Street or McLauchlan Street. Harling Park – Howick Road
8. Indulge in the Fantastic Eateries
With great wine there needs to be great food and Blenheim can surely provide with its incredible range of restaurants and cafes. Stop for a coffee at the Grove Road Coffe House, try some craft beer at the Dodson Street Biergarten, or dine among the vines at the Saint Claire Vineyard Kitchen.
Location: All over Blenheim
9. Visit a Chocolate Factory
Nestled in the vineyard country is a welcome surprise: the Makana Confections chocolate factory! Pop in for some free chocolate tastings and watch the chocolatiers at work through huge windows looking into the chocolate factory.
Location: Corner of Rapaura & ODwyers Roads
10. Check Out One of the Nearby Towns
Blenheim might be the biggest hub of the Marlborough region, but this corner of the South Island has a few other amazing towns worth venturing to. Visit the Greenshell Capital of New Zealand, Havelock, to cruise through the Pelorus Sound, hike along the Pelorus River and, of course, try its famous greenshell mussels. There’s also the harbour town of Picton with a huge range of water adventures to choose from in the stunning Marlborough Sounds. Start planning your visit with our 9 Fun Things to Do in Havelock and 10 Epic Things to Do in Picton.
Location: Hacklock is 40km north of Blenheim. Picton is 28km north of Blenheim.