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Marlborough & Nelson

- Campervan Travel Information


At the northern end of the South Island are the winding sheltered waterways of the Marlborough Sounds. This collection of drowned river valleys is a natural wonder, unparalleled in New Zealand. This is the region of nature's infinite variety. Blenheim is the hub of a region abundant in vineyards making a variety of wines and is world-renowned for its crispy Sauvignon Blanc. As you travel around the Nelson region, take time to experience the spectacular National Parks, gourmet cafes and local galleries.

Oysters Couple Salad

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Visitor Information

As you travel around the Marlborough and Nelson region, look for the sign you can trust. i-SITE is New Zealand's official network of visitor centres.



Blenheim is the largest town in Marlborough and has a population of approx 26500. Picton 26 km north of Blenheim population is 2900. Marlborough as a regions population is over 42,000.


Marlborough is consistently in the top 3 sunniest places in New Zealand with over 2500 hours per year.

Cultural mix

Iwi (Maori tribal groups) claim ancestral occupation rights, or rights of conquest over areas in the Marlborough Region. These Iwi areNgati Apa

  • Ngati Koata
  • Ngati Kuia
  • Ngati Rarua
  • Ngati Toa
  • Rangitane
  • Te Ati Awa

Famous for
  • Home to 130 Wineries, 600 grapegrowers and over 40 cellar doors
  • Home to The Queen Charlotte Track – NZ’s 2nd longest track which is 71km
  • Marlborough was responsible for 69% of New Zealand’s total 2010 wine vintage and 89% of New Zealand’s sauvignon blanc
  • The Marlborough Sounds has 1500km of coastline, accounting for 20% of New Zealand’s total coastline
  • More than 70% (65,000 tonne per annum) of the native Greenshell Mussels exported from New Zealand are farmed in their natural environment of the Marlborough Sounds
  • Captain Cook stood on Motuara Island in the Queen Charlotte Sound and declared New Zealand’s South Island for the English Sound in 1770
  • D’Urville Island in the Marlborough Sounds is New Zealand’s third largest island
  • Molesworth Station is the largest high country station in New Zealand



Nelson city is the 10th most populous city and geographical centre of New Zealand. Nelson Tasman Region has a resident population of 87,000 (2001) Nelson city 43,500 Tasman district 43,500


Nelson city rates consistently as New Zealand's sunniest spot with over 2,500 sunshine hours per year

Cultural mix

Iwi (Maori tribal groups) claim ancestral occupation rights, or rights of conquest over areas in the Nelson Region. These Iwi are

  • Ngati Rarua
  • Ngati Tama
  • Te Atiawa
  • Ngati Koata
  • Ngati Kuia
  • Ngati Toa

Famous for
  • Nelson is New Zealand's second oldest city, settled in 1841
  • Home to NZ's oldest state secondary school, Nelson College, est. in 1856
  • Home to 22 wineries which benefit from the mild Mediterranean climate
  • Unique landscape and wildlife with three spectacular national parks all within 90 minutes drive of each other
  • Two of New Zealand's Great Walks are within this region - Abel Tasman Coastal Track and Heaphy Track


GoDo is an online booking service for activities. We work with hundreds of activity suppliers across New Zealand so that you can book the perfect activity online instantly – be it tandem sky diving, hot air ballooning or V8 racing – on the particular day that you want to go. We’re trying to make the process of planning your weekends, holidays and days off as painless as possible with thousands of activities to choose from.

Wotif activities Nelson & Marlborough

Food & Wine

Wine lovers and foodies come to tour Marlborough wineries and then they discover culinary paradise. Sample fresh Marlborough Sounds seafood with one of the worlds best Sauvignon Blancs. Taste local game meat, discover Marlborough Salmon and savour Green Shell Mussels or scallops in this beautiful region. Try this prepared off a boat in the sounds or in one of the superb award winning restaurants.

While in Marlborough seek out boutique beers and liqueurs, pick fresh stonefruit in summer or visit one of many niche food producers.

Marlborough has over 130 wineries, 42 cellar doors right at its doorstep. World famous for Sauvignon Blanc, however there is much more to Marlborough wine. You’ll discover superb aromatics like Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris; a regional, elegant Chardonnay style, fine Methode Traditionelle, and award winning Pinot Noir.
Alongside fine wines, you can also experience superb food in this region with its on unique style, in restaurants, cafés, and at unparalleled culinary events throughout the year.

Marlborough is home to New Zealand’s first wine and food festival, now a sophisticated event of wine, gourmet food and live music in Brancott Vineyard - a must every February for foodies from around the world. Our clear environment and high sunshine hours nurture specialty produce with the finest flavours.

Wine growers and food producers are establishing Marlborough as New Zealand’s leading province in organic food and wine production techniques.

Organic wine, cheese, honey, seafood, olive oil , nuts and vegetables are rapidly flowing from Marlborough to the fresh markets of New Zealand. Marlborough also boasts one of New Zealand’s first ‘farmers’ markets’, every Sunday October - May in a country environment near Blenheim.

Marlborough is also a part of the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail, a sign-posted 380km (240 mile) self-drive touring route that leads you off the beaten track. Travel through five of New Zealand’s most interesting and scenic regions, including three major wine growing areas that account for more than 70% of the New Zealand’s total annual wine production. As the name suggests, this trail promises fantastic wine and food. It also serves up all kinds of cultural and adventure experiences.

Cloudy Bay, Blenheim
Established in 1985, Cloudy Bay's winery and vineyards are located in the heart of the Wairau Valley. The Cloudy Bay team combines meticulous viticulture, modern winemaking technology and traditional vinification techniques in the commitment to produce premium quality wines of region. Cloudy Bay put Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc on the world wine map.

Brancott Estate (Formally Montana Brancott Estate)
Their Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc was awarded in its first vintage - and today, continues to be awarded around the world. Brancott was the first winery in Marlborough when it opened in 1976, today their visitor facility features a retail store, tasting rooms, wine education facility, restaurant and even a small theatre.

Yealands Estate
The Yealands Estate Winery is New Zealand’s largest privately-owned vineyard – and a showcase of innovative environmental sustainability. You will find it nestled on the Seaview Peninsula in the Awatere Valley. They look forward to welcoming you at their cellar door – where you will have the opportunity to taste their wines and discover the kiwi ingenuity and innovation at the heart of Yealands Estate.

Nelson’s is well known for producing sun-kissed fruit, farm-fresh vegetables and succulent seafood provide endless gastronomic inspiration, accompanied by high quality wines. Whether you want to experience dining among the vines, along the waterfront with fabulous views, at a country café, or in the city-scape - or perhaps park up your camper near overlooking a stunning view and enjoy some good old Kiwi fish and chips!

Stafford Lane Estate, Richmond
This boutique winery produces Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Montepulicano, and Pinot Noir.

Kahurangi Estate Ltd, Motueka Handmade, award winning wines from some of the South Island's oldest vines. Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir & Montepulciano. Cellar door wine tastings available 7 days. 10.30am - 4.30pm.

Richmond Plains, Richmond
Producer of New Zealand's first Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir from certified organic and biodynamic grapes.

Walks & Treks

Marlborough offers a range of walks from the well-formed tracks, to remote trails through virgin native forests. They’re all deceptively accessible yet will transport you a world away from the stresses of urban life.

Take time to explore Blenheim’s parks – an entrée to the numerous acclaimed private gardens throughout the regions; many of which are showcased during the annual Hunters Garden Marlborough event. Visit Seymour Square in the middle of town, and nearby Pollard Park / Waterlea Gardens, with childrens’ play area, golf course (one of 8 in handy reach to visitors) and sweeping bedded gardens. Come here again to Seymour Square after-dark to view the special-effects lighting in the fountain that illuminates the park.

Around the Picton and Queen Charlotte Sounds region, there is a host of short bush walks from the town to hidden beaches and lookouts, offering breathtaking views and wilderness experiences.

Queen Charlotte Sound is the home of New Zealand’s second largest track. 

This iconic trail attracts visitors with its stunning views.  From historic Ship Cove through to Anakiwa, the track passes through a wide range of landscapes, from lush forest, historic bays to skyline ridges.  The complete track is 71km with most sections being able to be accessed by water transfer for day or half day walks, or it can be completed as a 3-5 day trip.  Local operators also provide packages combining walking, mountain biking and sea kayaking for the track.  A unique feature of the Queen Charlotte Track is the comfort in which it can be completed.  Accommodation along the track is plentiful, ranging from backpackers to high end, all transfers and luggage are undertaken by water-taxi, providing easy access and a relaxed experience for the visitor.

Golf Courses

Marlborough and Nelson's superb climate and great natural beauty make it a golfer’s ideal destination.
We’ve selection a few for you to choose from but also suggest you peruse

Marlborough golf courses

Marlborough Golf course, Marlborough - challenging course set among vineyards. Flat to hilly, testing hazards, great views.
Nopera Bay Golf course, Marlborough - picturesque 13 hole course in the Marlborough Sounds. Sheep grazed. Fenced greens.

Picton Golf Course situated at Koromiko – 6km south of Picton on State Highway 1 is attractive, and offers a variety of interesting and challenging holes.

Rarangi Golf course, Marlborough Easy walking, irrigated fairways and testing greens, designed in the classic links-style with flat tree-lined fairways with pleasant shoreline views.

Wairau Valley Golf course, Marlborough Recognised as one of Marlborough's top 9 hole courses. Good sized greens, well mown watered fairways and rough.

Nelson golf courses

Motueka Golf Club
18 hole, coastal course that is flat and provides a great day of golf against the backdrop of Mount Arthur and the ranges of Kahurangi National Park. While to the east is the glistening Tasman Bay with views to the Marlborough Sounds.

Tasman Golf Club
At Kina Beach, half-an-hour's drive out of Nelson. The course has wonderful sea and mountain views and is relatively easy to play at 4,818 metres, par 66. The steep contours make it quite an interesting challenge and above all it is an enjoyable day out in such a relaxed country atmosphere and the green fees are extremely modest.

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