Ice blue waters brimming with aquaculture and exotic wildlife; a premier wine offering that is world renowned; and an emerging reputation for fine dining and fresh produce – all this and so much more is waiting for you in Marlborough, as Bonnie Tai discovered.
When Scotsman David Herd planted the first grapes in Marlborough’s southern valleys in 1873 in an effort to prove the region was capable of producing wine – everything changed. Today, Marlborough’s wine scene is front row and centre on the world stage, with wineries such as Brancott Estate, Cloudy Bay and Allan Scott now household names globally.
Aside from its reputation of producing fine wine and food, the Marlborough region is also out to impress with its pristine wilderness areas and awe-inspiring Sounds. In fact, the whole region is pretty much the embodiment of a typical 100 per cent Pure New Zealand campaign: serene, idyllic and breathtakingly beautiful.
Located in Blenheim, the Marlborough region’s most densely populated township, Arbour is a local favourite – and for good reason.
The best of Marlborough’s produce is on show here (think Cloudy bay clams all the way through to Ora King Salmon), with the ingredients expertly prepared and executed by chef Bradley Hornby and his talented team.
The dishes, when plated, are works of art and look almost too good to eat (almost). Arbour’s ‘Just Feed Me’ menu offers a choice of between three and seven courses which are all created using fresh, seasonal produce.
The meals are light but filling and the flavours are expertly balanced. To impress a VIP client, book in a prep bench experience, where guests can dine inside the kitchen and watch the chefs work their magic.
Stay: Chateau Marlborough
Chateau Marlborough makes for a perfect to rest your head whilst in the region for business. The five star boutique lodging offers 80 keys and is situated just a short stroll from neighbouring Marlborough Convention Centre and Blenheim’s town centre.
Each room is well appointed and comes complete with a Sleepmaker Heavenly Bed, which we can attest, makes for one of the comfiest sleeps in town.
Stay: Bay of Many Coves Resort
Situated in the heart of the Marlborough Sounds, Bay of Many Coves Resort has to be seen to be believed. The secluded hideaway forms part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World portfolio, and can only be accessed by way of boat or helicopter.
Each suite comes complete with a private balcony with panoramic views of the bay, beautiful linens (over $5,000 worth on each bed we’re told), king sized beds and warm wooden interiors. The luxury resort also offers a number of onsite activities such as bush walking; glow worm experiences; kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding.
While you’re visiting, make sure you check out the resort’s award-winning onsite restaurant Foredeck to sample some of the best locally sourced produce in the region.
Activities: Bike the Vines with Explore Marlborough
You shouldn’t drink and drive – but with Explore Marlborough, you can sip and ride. The company is the only one in the region which offers guided wine tours by bike, meaning you can take in the Marlborough’s gorgeous views whilst tasting your way through the region’s finest tasting rooms. The terrain is gentle and the tour operates at a very leisurely pace. Both half and full day itineraries are available.
Meet: Marlborough Convention Centre
Situated in Blenheim, the Marlborough Convention Centre makes for a great venue to hold your next event. Whether it to be for an intimate gathering or a grand gala dinner, this purpose built convention centre makes for a fantastic option. Onsite features include a pre function space; three various hall sizes with moveable walls; seating for up to 560 delegates theatre style; and an experienced event management and operations team to assist you in running a seamless event.
Activities: Scenic and seafood Cruise with Marlborough Tour Company
Marlborough Tour Company runs an assortment of scenic seafood cruises within the Marlborough Sounds, which allow guests to take in the panoramic views of the bays, all the while tucking into a freshly shucked Cloudy Bay clam or Greenshell Mussel (paired with Marlborough sauvignon blanc of course). Cruises depart from either Picton or Havelock and explore the Pelorus Sound, Kenepuru Sound and the Queen Charlotte Sound.
During the cruise, groups will be able to experience a aquaculture farms, stop off at a remote beach, or go fishing or kayaking.