Blenheim Rental Car Travel Itinerary
Home to some of New Zealand’s best wineries, fresh local produce and welcoming people, Blenheim is the perfect base to explore the Marlborough region, the top of the South Island and beyond.
Need to know where to go and what to see? We’ve put together a handy travel itinerary with some of the best attractions and activities in and around Blenheim.
World class wineries are calling – let’s not keep them waiting.
- Taking a tour around the region’s vineyards and tasting the fresh local produce is top of many people’s list when visiting Blenheim. Choose from self-guided winery tours or full and half day guided tours, there are plenty of options to suit everyone.
- The team at Bubbly Grape Wine Tours do a great Gourmet Lunch Wine Tour or if you have a specific Winery in mind, try Marlborough Wine Tours as they can accommodate customised requests.
- Making your own way around the wineries is also a great option because you can choose the ones you would prefer to visit. Don’t miss the Wairau River Winery on Rapaura Road, the George Michael Wine Estate just down the road or the Wither Hills Winery on New Renwick Road.
It’s out in to the country we go today so grab your boots and dress warmly!
- Taking a tour of the iconic Molesworth Station is one of the must-do experiences visitors can’t miss when in New Zealand. Molesworth is NZ’s largest working high country station, while once closed to the public, limited access is now available at certain times.
- Take a 4WD tour, cycle tour, stay overnight or just go for the day it’s up to you – but trust me the longer the better!
- Tours depart from Blenheim and include transport to and from the Station. Molesworth Station is approximately 2 hours’ drive inland from Blenheim.
Its road trip time and Nelson is the destination.
- Nelson is home to a range of arts and crafts outlets, beautiful beaches, stunning National Parks, quirky cafes and even more vineyards along the way.
- In and around the city, visit the Suter Art Gallery, hit the Saturday market or visit the Natureland Wildlife Zoo.
- Head to Motueka and spend some time exploring the township, then drive to Takaka and stop in at the Ngarua Caves on the way.
- Drive on to Marahau, known as the southern gateway to the stunning Abel Tasman National Park. Hire a kayak, talk a walk or just enjoy the beach and have a swim. Or take a guided nature tour or cruise there is something for everyone.
The Marlborough Sounds…need we say more?
- Exploring the picturesque Marlborough Sounds is a real treat, best done from a tranquil guided boat tour.
- Cruise the beautiful surrounds, while indulging in a local Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and fresh local seafood with the Marlborough Icons Tour from the Marlborough Tour Company departing from Blenheim.
- Or make your own way to Picton, just 30 minutes’ drive from Blenheim. There are several tour operators offering Queen Charlotte Sounds cruises from the wharf at Picton. Beachcomber Cruises and the Marlborough Sounds Adventure Company are a great place to start.
Its to the south we go today, and dolphins are on the agenda.
- An hour and a half’s drive south of Blenheim is the small settlement of Kaikoura. Well known for its abundance of crayfish and stunning coastline, Kaikoura is the perfect place for a fantastic dolphin spotting adventure.
- The team at Encounter Kaikoura are the people to see for a great open-ocean dolphin viewing experience, you can also take the amazing opportunity to swim with the dolphins in their natural environment. They also offer an awesome Albatross Encounter.
- All dolphin adventures are weather dependent and obviously you must be able to swim confidently if choosing to enter the water with the dolphins. Children over the age of 8 are permitted to join the swim when accompanied by an adult.
Hot Springs anyone?
- Still travelling southward, Hanmer Springs is the destination for today. This quaint little inland township is the perfect oasis for the weary traveller while still offering plenty of action for those seeking some adventure.
- The Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools are probably the first (and last stop), for many when visiting Hanmer Springs. The Thermal Hot Pool complex offers a range of pools all served up at different temperatures, and with different surrounds. Private spa pools are also available at an extra cost.
- When you have had enough soaking away the stresses of the day, or when you start looking like a prune – whichever comes first – it may be time to take a look around. Find an array of trendy restaurants and cafes to enjoy, try your hand a some mini golf or find a good walking track nearby and stretch the legs.
Back in Blenheim? Or on to Christchurch?
- From Hanmer Springs you can either head back to Blenheim, or carry on to Christchurch. Blenheim is about four hours drive from Hanmer back tracking over the same route or there is a scenic inland route through Murchison that is slightly longer.
- For those heading on to Christchurch, the trip takes roughly 1 ½ hours by car. Christchurch is the South Islands largest city, it has a variety of attractions and activities for visitors. Everything from Punting on the Avon River, to mock Antarctic Adventures and stunning parks and gardens await.
- For more ideas on what to do in and around Christchurch take a look at our Christchurch Travel Itinerary.