One of the best things about New Zealand is that wine tasting is practically a hobby there. Wine tasting in the Marlborough region should be at the top of every wine-lover’s bucket list. Whether you have a few days or just an afternoon, you can still fit a tour of the famous Blenheim wineries, and try your favourite whites straight from the source. Here are all of your options to tour the wineries in Marlborough, New Zealand.
- How to get to Blenheim
- Where to stay
- Wine tours and companies I recommend
- Organising your own self-drive tour
- Joining or planning a cycle tour in Blenheim
- Wineries you must visit in Blenheim
- Our experience wine tasting in Marlborough
How to get to Blenheim
If you book an organised tour, the tour company will pick you up at your guesthouse if it’s in the town, or else at the Picton InterIsland ferry port if you’re coming from the North Island.
If you’re staying outside of Blenheim, you can get to the town by bus. Take the public bus from Nelson (1hr 45) or Picton (30 mins). The Picton buses leave right from the InterIslander pier which is very handy if you’re just arriving to the South Island and want to do a tour right away.
InterCity offers cheap $1 fares if you book in advance and there’s also plenty of accommodation in the area if you want to stay overnight.
Where to Stay in Blenheim
As you can imagine, accommodation in Blenheim is not cheap. Budget backpackers are better off getting the bus to Nelson after the tour and staying overnight there. Rates in Nelson are a lot cheaper than Blenheim. You can see where we stayed in Nelson here.
If you do decide to stay in the town, there are some really beautiful places you can stay. Here are a few of my favourites I have found online:
- Follow The White Wabbit – £85 per night. This charming, whimsical B&B is an eco-friendly option, and a quirky change from standard hotels. Accommodation options include The White Rabbit – a small retro caravan with a double bed, and Abby’s Shabby Shack – a ‘tiny house’ built using recycled and reclaimed materials.
- Botanica Marlborough B&B – £171 per night. This refurbished 1920’s house has stunning landscaped gardens where you can sit with a glass of wine after a day exploring the region. Rooms are plush, homely and comfortable – this place seems like a really cosy stay! This 5-star B&B gets rave reviews online and is within walking distance of the town.
- Chateau Marlborough – £174 per night. If you would rather stay in a hotel, this stunning 5-star hotel offers luxury self-contained suites with a gorgeous pool to cool off in after a day in the sunshine. Rooms are comfortable and cosy, with a little kitchenette so you can make yourself feel at home. This hotel won the HM Australasian Hotel of the Year awards 2018, and claims to offer ‘world class service’. The reviews online certainly agree.
Planning your wine tasting trip
Is it hard?
**UPDATE October 2020: Marlborough Wine Tours have let me know that our guide is no longer with them, and has moved to the ‘Bubbly Grapes’ tour company – you can read their reply below this post!