The Best Things to Do in Blenheim
In the heart of New Zealand’s largest wine region, Blenheim sure is your “foodie” capital of New Zealand. It comes as no surprise that winery-hopping, tasting chocolate and visiting a unique beer garden features on this list of Blenheim must-dos! After weeks, maybe months, of budgeting on food (and as much as you can on drink), if you were ever going to treat yourself on culinary delights while backpacking in New Zealand, Blenheim would be the place.
Nevertheless, Blenheim has heaps more attractions to keep you entertained while visiting or working in the Marlborough hub. The town holds a couple of fascinating and affordable museums, while giving you plenty of options to enjoy the great outdoors in the various parks and reserves in the district.
So take a look at our must-dos in Blenheim so you can keep boredom at bay!
1. Taste Some Sauvignon Blanc
Tasting the region’s world-renowned Sauvignon Blanc is a must-do in Blenheim! Marlborough produces 75% of New Zealand’s wine with 85% of that being Sauvignon Blanc. With cellar doors found all over the district offering free tastings, there’s no excuse to not see what all the fuss is about. Learn more about it at 10 Best Wineries in Blenheim.
Location: Pick up a Marlborough Wine Trail map from any accommodation or i-SITE for a location of the region’s cellar doors.
2. Bike Around Blenheim’s Wineries
On the subject of wine, the Blenheim area has about 30 different wineries. That’s a lot to get through! To avoid drinking and driving, do a winery crawl by bike! Not only does this give you a bit of time to refresh between tastings (because, yes, most wineries offer free tastings), but it’s a cruisy way to get around quickly on the flat land. Bike hire operators in the region, like Marlborough Bike Hire and Explore Marlborough, offer self-guided and guided tours. For more awesome things to do, check out 10 Marlborough Must-Dos.
Location: Pick up a Marlborough Wine Trail map from any accommodation or i-SITE for a location of the region’s wineries.
3. Hike or Bike in Wither Hills Farm Park
This working cattle and sheep farm situated in the southern boundaries of Blenheim gives you the opportunity to take in some spectacular views of the surrounding hills, vineyards and town. There are a number of walking tracks ranging in lengths. There is also a dedicated mountain bike park with single tracks graded 2 to 4. 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.
4. Check Out the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre
See vintage aircraft like they would have been used during the world wars in this unique display of rare and replica aircraft set in scenes put together by Sir Peter Jackson, Wingnut Films and Weta Studios. Learn about the evolution of aviation along with stories from some of the first pilots to fly them. Get your Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre admission ticket here.
Location: 79 Aerodrome Rd, Omaka, Blenheim
5. Relax in the “Biergarten”
Dodson Street is Blenheim’s famous beer garden which boasts the largest selection of craft beers in New Zealand. With a menu of German, Italian and Kiwi influences and more funky seating areas than you can shake a stick at, there are plenty of options to keep coming back for more. Sit on the “worst seat in the house” for a discount!
Location: 1 Dodson Street, Blenheim
6. Visit the Marlborough Museum
When first arriving in Blenheim, there’s no better introduction to the Marlborough region than the Marlborough Museum to gain some perspective. Learn the ins and outs of New Zealand’s largest wine-making region, the fascinating story and Maori artefacts from New Zealand’s earliest settlement, and about the lives of the region’s pioneers.
Location: 26 Arthur Baker Place, Redwoodtown, Blenheim
7. Take a Stroll in Pollard Park
Every large town has a go-to garden and Pollard Park is Blenheim’s. This pretty park is a local’s favourite with 26ha (64 acres) of wooded parkland and gardens. Stroll through rose gardens, a floral garden, the rhododendron dell, the scented garden and more!
Location: Parker Street or McLauchlan Street
8. Taste Some Chocolate
Nestled in the vineyard country is Marlborough’s very own chocolate factory. Go to Makana Confections for some free chocolate tastings and to watch the chocolatiers at work through huge windows looking into the chocolate factory.
Location: The corner of Rapaura & O’Dwyers Roads
9. Harling Park
If you can’t get enough of the parks in Blenheim, then give Harling Park a go! The Japanese theme provides a charming environment for walks, picnicking or just hanging out. The park also provides access to Wither Hills Farm Park (see above).
Location: Howick Road, Blenheim
10. Go to the Marlborough Wine and Food Festival
A day of food, wine and live music: what’s not to love? New Zealand’s biggest wine festival is a must-go if it coincides with your trip to Blenheim. Usually held for one day in February, the Marlborough Food & Wine Festival has heaps of entertainment, from aviation shows to celebrity chef cooking demonstrations. For more information on festivals in New Zealand, check out How to Volunteer for a Festival in New Zealand.
Location: Brancott Vineyard