NELSON – BLENHEIM
Travel distance is approximately 115kms (72 miles).
Allow at least 1.5 hours drive time (not including stops).
After indulging yourself in the amazing creative culture and breathtaking scenery of the super sunny Nelson region prepare for a visually beautiful and interesting road trip on route to the vineyard capital of Blenheim.
From stunning coastal views to lush forests and vineyards, this is a journey of delight.
Some notable stops along the route to Blenheim include:
RAI VALLEY COTTAGE
This historic handmade colonial cottage was built from locally pit-sawn totara slabs and was home to an early pioneering family from the early 1880’s. Locals have restored this pioneer cottage with original furniture and ornaments.
PELORUS BRIDGE SCENIC RESERVE
This is one of the last stands of river flat forest in Marlborough and offers visitors the opportunity to relax and enjoy refreshing forest and river scenery. There are a couple of 30 minute walks that allow you to explore the forest and riverbanks.
This quiet fishing village is located at the head of the Pelorus Sound and boasts some terrific restaurants and cafés beside the water so you can sample the regions ‘world famous’ Green Shell mussels. Excellent sea fishing can be found in Pelorous Sound while freshwater anglers can try their luck along the nearby Rai and Pelorus Rivers. Fishing and cruise charters are available and the Greenshell™ Mussel Cruise is highly recommended.
THE CORK & KEG PUB
Located in Inkerman Street, Renwick, the heart of Marlborough’s world famous wine region, this is the closest Kiwi experience you’ll have to an old English country pub. Enjoy one of the natural boutique beers or cider made on the premises or a good old Guinness on tap. Hearty blackboard menu features some great lunch and evening meals.
The main town of Marlborough is also the hub for the entire wine district. Along with many fine restaurants serving the best wine and food from the region, there is plenty of cafes and wineries to satisfy your tastebuds. Blenheim has some great shopping and a vibrant nightlife during the weekend.
From private vineyard retreats, to hotels, motels and luxury boutique bed & breakfast style lodgings, to holiday parks and backpackers, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation in the region. The town is easy to navigate on foot.
Highly recommended Blenheim tourist attractions include…
Dolphin Watching – Enjoy an eco-tour in the Marlborough Sounds as you experience close encounters with seabirds, seals and dolphins. There is also the opportunity to swim with dolphins.
River Queen Paddle-Steamer – Authentically styled paddle-steamer that cruises the beautiful Opawa River in Blenheim. Enjoy the tranquil atmosphere while watching the scenery drift past as you relax on the river. Choose from a midday cruise with a 2-course lunch or local produce platter, while the twilight cruise has a 2 course meal available. Special wine tasting packages also available.
Marlborough Wine Tours – Enjoy a totally flexible and personalised wine tour to suit your time frame and wine tastes, from 3 hours to all day, let someone else do the driving in your air-conditioned mini van or coach, while you enjoy tasting some of the best New Zealand wines. Most tours include a winery tour and lunch at a vineyard. With so many brilliant wineries and vineyards to visit, you are best to arrange a tour so you don’t miss out on the best!
Molesworth Tour – This Qualmark Endorsed sightseeing tour company offering tours in the remote high country of Molesworth Station from 1 to 4 days. Personalised 4WD tours showcasing the high country farming life in the Awatere Valley.
Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre – Located in Omaka, the Aviation Heritage Centre offers a unique aviation experience that brings to life rare aircraft and memorabilia in a multi-sensory experience.
Millennium Art Gallery – Located in the centre of Blenheim and features curated exhibitions of national and regional artists while the gallery shop sells fine pieces of local art and craft plus specialty magazines and cards.
Picton – Just a short drive from Blenheim and a popular place to spend an afternoon or half day. The township is nestled at the head of the Queen Charlotte Sound and is a place rich in maritime history. From cruises in the Marlborough Sound to exploring the Picton Museum and Edwin Fox, to bush walks, souvenir shopping or walking the Queen Charlotte Track, Picton is the gateway to all this and more!
Prenzel Distilling Company – Located in the Riverlands Estate there is also a tasting room in the Mud House complex in Rapaura Road. Taste a delicious range of schnapps, liqueurs, world class Marlborough Fruit Brandies, infused olive oils and the world’s first Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Vinegar.
New Zealand Itineraries: South Island Suggested Itineraries
Our modern self-drive travel Itineraries have routes specifically for the North Island as well as the South Island, ranging from 5 to 11 days, plus there are some travel routes that take in both the North and South Island’s. Our range of travel itineraries include information regarding travel distances and time to ensure that you can make the best of your time in New Zealand, no longer how short your visit!
- 5 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Greymouth, Greymouth – Fox Glacier, Franz Josef – Wanaka, Wanaka – Mt Cook and Mt Cook – Christchurch
- 5 Day Itinerary (route 2): Christchurch – Hanmer Springs, Hanmer Springs – St Arnuad, St Arnuad – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch
- 5 Day Itinerary (route 3): Christchurch – Mt Cook, Mt Cook – Queenstown, Queenstown – Dunedin, Dunedin – Oamaru and Oamaru – Christchurch
- 7 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin – Invercargill, Invercargill – Stewart Island, Stewart Island – Te-anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown and Queenstown – Christchurch
- 8 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Greymouth, Greymouth – Fox Glacier, Fox Glacier – Wanaka, Wanaka – Queenstown, Queenstown – Te Anau, Te Anau – Dunedin and Dunedin – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin, Dunedin – Invercragill, Invercargill – Te Anau, Te Anau Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown, Queenstown – Mt Cook, Mt Cook – Lake Tekapo and Lake Tekapo – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary (route 2): Christchurch – Omarama, Omarama – Dunedin, Dunedin, Dunedin – Te Anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown, Queenstown – Haast, Haast – Greymouth and Greymouth – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary (route 3): Christchurch – Hanmer Springs, Hanmer Springs – Greymouth, Greymouth – Nelson, Nelson – Takaka, Takaka – Motueka, Motueka – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch
- 11 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin – Te Anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Milford Sound – Queenstown, Queenstown – Wanaka, Wanaka – Franz Josef, Franz Josef – Greymouth, Greymouth – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch