Self Drive Marlborough | Avis Car Rental

Marlborough Self Drive Holiday




Marlborough Wine

There is something magical about the climate in Marlborough. The long, sunny, dry and cool days allow grapes to ripen at a stately pace over a long period to the point where they make the best Sauvignon Blanc in the world. With mountains to the west providing a beautiful backdrop, the producing valleys are as lovely to visit as the wines are to sample. A great way to enjoy the day is to take a tour. This will get you to a number of producers in comfort, and free you up to enjoy the house specialties, without having to nominate a designated driver!

Marlborough Wine Website


Kaikoura Whale Watching

In one sense, at 18 metres and fifty tonnes it is hard to miss a Sperm whale. But until you have seen one up close the size and majesty are just numbers. And to see one you must go to Kaikoura. Whale Watch are so sure that you will see a whale on this trip that if you don't you'll get 80% of your fare back. There are Sperm whales year round thanks to the deep undersea canyon right off the coast with its warm currents and abundant sea-life for them to feast on. A further six whale species visit, not to mention Orcas and the Hectors Dolphin, Albatrosses and other bird life. One and a half hours down State Highway 1 from Blenheim.

Whale Watch Website


Nelson Café Culture

Nelson is a charming, sunny, educated, arty and warm little city. Be sure to spend a morning strolling the art galleries, boutiques and bookstores, and then rest in one of the many excellent cafes and restaurants. With some of the best weather and leisure activities that the country has to offer, many people move here to enjoy the pace of life and there is always an interesting conversation to be had with the welcoming community. Nelson has a large number of natural and alternative therapists, traditional doctors and holistic healers, so perhaps take an open mind and some concerns to relieve when you visit!



Heaphy Track

Hiking is a true down-home New Zealand pastime, where it is known as tramping. The Heaphy Track is one of the nine great walks that the Department of Conservation maintains to the highest standard and best showcases the country's natural beauty. The huts are well equipped and frequently found - at distances of one per 17 kms at the very farthest. This walk is for the reasonably fit. It takes five to six days and you will have to make arrangements to be picked up at the end. But if you do make the effort many consider this the top tramp in the country. You pass through ancient Beech forest, limestone caves, alpine tussock, wild coastlines and lush native rainforest. The facilities are lovely and very popular - so plan ahead and book spaces in the huts ahead of time. It is recommended to attempt the walk in summer.

Heaphy Track Website


Marlborough Sounds

There are four sounds: Queen Charlotte, Pelorus, Kenepuru and Mahau. These submerged valleys together make up a beautiful, intricate and hidden-away area with a wonder at every turn. Much of the land is hard to access except by water, so be sure to join one of the many excellent tours by boat. Perhaps catch the mail ferry to get a look at the many inhabited corners or jump in a kayak and explore the nooks and crannies yourself. With aquaculture farms, fantastic fishing, tramping, yachting, mountain biking, wine and restaurants all through the region the hardest thing to do is narrow down your choices.

Love Marlborough Website


Craft Beer

The region is rightly world famous for its wines, but Nelson is also centre to a thriving micro-brewing industry. Beer enthusiasts say that nature makes wine but a brewer makes beer, so head along to a working brewery to see all that goes in to making the amber liquid and the amazing variety available once you step outside the mass-produced beers that we all know. You'll find higher percentage beers, beers with floral ingredients, beers that seem to be more like liquid meals and beers that are made from ingredients that you can see growing just down the road. That's because Nelson is the only area in New Zealand where hops can be grown commercially. The hop is a latitude sensitive crop and it holds the aroma and much of the character of a beer. There is a world of beer as varied and artisanal as that of wine, all to be found in Nelson. This is a good one for leaving the car at the hotel and heading out on foot to the compact city centre.


The Treasured Pathway

The Treasured Pathway is a driver's kind of way to spend the day. It is a guidebook available from the i-site information centres (for a reasonable rate) that sets out the history of the 680km heritage highway across the top of the South Island - from Picton to Farewell Spit. Richly detailed with history, context and sites to see, this invaluable guide makes the beautiful drive a cultural experience. This drive is recommended for everyone that loves to explore the great open road.

Treasured Pathway Website




Wine and Food Festival

The hottest ticket of the year is the Wine and Food Festival. Around 8000 people descend on Brancott Estate - one of the oldest and best producers in the region. It is held on the second Saturday in February and you'd be advised to get tickets well in advance. The tastings, food, live music, fashion competitions and carnival atmosphere means this sells out very quickly.

Marlborough Festival Website


World of Wearable Arts Museum

Nelson launched the World of Wearable Arts phenomenon, and if here you should go to visit the museum that holds great entries from over the years. The exhibition hall recreates the atmosphere of the popular event, with music and lighting giving the feeling of a live staging. You can get up close to the work and see the genius behind the pieces. The museum is also home to a stunning collection of classic cars. There are 100 lovingly restored pieces of mechanical art on display - meaning that the museum will keep all comers entertained.

WOW Cars Website


Dolphin Watch Eco-tours

From Picton you can head out on a scenic water and wildlife tour of the Queen Charlotte Sound with the aim of seeing and then swimming with dolphins. The eco-tours include a guided walk on Motuara Island bird sanctuary, where you might see penguins, South Island saddlebacks, bellbirds or king shags, depending on the time of year. The dolphin swimming operators are certified carbon neutral and are sensitive and safe in interacting with the marine life. They operate daily tours year round, to give you a chance to swim with Bottlenose, Dusky or maybe even rare Hectors Dolphin.

E-Ko Tours Website




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