Tucked away in New Zealand’s South Island is the one and only Blenheim. While this sunny location may be known for being another town in the Marlborough region, stepping foot on its lush green plains will immediately have you realising that there is more to Blenheim New Zealand than meets the eye.
The sunshine-drenched town of Blenheim New Zealand is more than its agricultural appeal. While it is undoubtedly the heart of New Zealand’s wine hub, Blenheim still has several other enthralling activities on offer that will shock and delight travellers, especially given the fact that it is the perfect blend of sea, land, light and nature.
How to get to Blenheim New Zealand
If you’re an international traveller wondering how to get to Blenheim New Zealand, just know that there are a number of ways to get to this quaint countryside town. Your starting point would be to get to Marlborough. Once you’ve arrived you can make use of a number of travel options to Blenheim.
The first option is to explore the local roads by taking a road trip through to Blenheim. This is a great option as the roads are often quiet and continue to boast a number of beautiful landscapes that can be accessed via car. This incredibly scenic 25-minute drive will take you through magnificent mountain ranges, valleys and pristine coastlines. Better yet, if you would like to rent a car in New Zealand has a number of car rental options that range from budget to luxury.
See also Getting Around New Zealand in a Camper Van!
If you aren’t thrilled by the prospect of being in the driver’s seat, taking the bus is a great option! Not only is Marlborough’s public transportation system incredibly efficient, but it is also affordable. You can sit back, relax and take in the views along this way! Once you have arrived in Blenheim, you can continue your bus travels on the region’s Hop on Hop off bus service!
So now that we know how to get into Blenheim, let’s explore the top activities to convince you why Blenheim, New Zealand doesn’t suck!
Here are our top activities to convince you why Blenheim, New Zealand doesn’t suck!
1. Get a dose of cultural goodness at the Marlborough Museum
Look, there is no better way to start off your trip in Blenheim than with the official Marlborough Museum. It truly is the best introduction to the region as it will help you gain deeper insights into New Zealand’s largest wine-making region, all of its fascinating stories and Maori artefacts.
See also Maori for Beginners: E pahea ana koe?
2. Try the local wines that Blenheim New Zealand is known for
Blenheim, New Zealand is the wine centre of the country which is why it is adored for its core vineyard trail that can take up at least 2 days of your time. It’s undisputedly the best vineyard route in New Zealand. Join a wine tour of the region.
You’re not a wine connoisseur? Blenheim also has the MOA brewery open for tasting and a chocolate factory. Can’t go wrong with that! I was toast by the end of my wine tour in Blenheim.
3. Stay and have drinks at the Grovetown Country Hotel and Pub
Just a 2-minute drive outside the city centre on Highway 1, this pub-hostel is perfect for people of any age. It’s also got a fair amount of accommodation facilities for camper vans and tents visiting Blenheim.
With a bar attached to it, stumbling home at the end of the night is a quick crawl up the stairway. The best night to grab a beer there is on a Friday when all the locals come out for good food and cheap beer. It’s also crawling with backpackers who like to take advantage of the free pool table, especially during the warmer month.
The pub itself has an immense amount of history and its regular customers will be more than willing to chat with you. If you’re not feeling the pub, peek out back where you can usually find a few backpackers drinking beers or listening to music and hanging out.
Note: There are a lot of awesome people, but not everyone is awesome. Maybe see how good their ‘high five’ is before you make friends!
4. Try fresh mussels
Ask around if anyone knows a fisherman you can buy some fresh mussels from. While this sounds a bit random, the odds of finding fresh mussels from a local fisherman are high.
If you are a bit shy, another option is to hop a town over to Picton where the mussel factory is. At Picton, you can purchase some mouth-watering mussels. Or you could be a cheat and do it the easy way – eat out, as I will mention in my next point.
5. Eat your way through Blenheim New Zealand
The restaurants in Blenheim left much to be desired. Don’t bother eating in town, most of the places other than Thai take-out weren’t great. Alas, most vineyards have restaurants attached to their tasting area.
Sit on the patio, with views of the elongating vineyards and rolling mountains in the background. At the same time, you’ll be eating melt-in-your-mouth food and drinking delicious wine! Keep in mind, most places close fairly early. You should call and make sure they are open if you plan to eat there.
Recommended vineyards to visit include Brancott, Villa Maria, Wither Hills, Brick Bay, St Clair and Cloudy Bay.
6. Go on a trek with phenomenal views
Blenheim is surrounded by lush scenery, mountains, ocean coasts and riversides. The multitudes of hiking trails to choose from are endless. There are also a number of incredible gardens which showcase the most exquisite roses and flora – make sure to check out Pollard Park and Harling Park! You can also ride a bike down to the river or the Blenheim beach for swimming, surfing or just laying in the sun.
7. Visit the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre
When visiting Blenheim, you will see that the town has a strong aviation heritage. You can earn more about the evolution of aviation along with stories from some of the first pilots to fly them at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre. Visitors are also treated to a unique display of vintage aircrafts that were actually used during the world wars! So even if aviation isn’t your thing, this historical centre will pique anyone’s interest!
Here’s a bonus tip from Coral Musgrave on Twitter:
“The car museum next to the Omaka Aviation museum is worth a visit. Classic cars in great condition.”
Coral is referring to Omaka Classic Cars which features a collection of over 100 classic cars.
Blenheim, New Zealand is a great place to see, even if just for a day or two! But don’t just take our word for it, make sure to check it out for yourself too! You won’t regret it!