Posted by Bella Vista on
Whether it’s a weekend getaway or a leisurely visit, there are so many things to do in Blenheim, you’ll be planning a return visit. Situated in the heart of the wine-growing Marlborough region and with a reputation as New Zealand’s sunniest town, many activities in Blenheim can be enjoyed all year round. Here’s a locally curated list of the five best things to do in Blenheim, both near the Bella Vista Blenheim motel or a short drive away.
1. Eat and drink your heart out Blenheim-style
You can’t visit Blenheim without tasting Cloudy Bay clams, the region’s world-famous Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough mussels or the delicious local cheeses. Experience one of New Zealand’s top restaurants, Gramados ranked by Trip Advisor as the country’s top “everyday eats” destination, with delicious mains such as Brazilian fish moqueca and slow-cooked pork belly, for a pinch under $40.
There are more than 30 wineries close to Blenheim, and most of them offer cellar door tastings making this one of the top Blenheim attractions for visitors. The Cloudy Bay estate, one of the region's first winemakers has an outstanding reputation for hospitality and food. Enjoy a glass of their Pelorus Methode Traditionelle paired with creamy oysters from the clear waters of Te Matuku Bay. In winter, savour a classic glass of Sauvignon curled up next to the Estate’s cosy indoor fireplace.
2. Stroll around the Marlborough Farmers market
Keen to mix with the locals? Then include the Marlborough Farmers market on your Blenheim to do list. Touted as New Zealand’s original Farmers’ Market, it runs every Sunday between 9am-12pm at the A&P Showgrounds and showcases the regions freshest seasonal fruit, vegetables and produce.
3. Visit the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre
A short drive or bike ride from the motel will take you to the Omaka Aviation Heritage centre, just one of many Blenheim attractions unique to the area. Discover the lifelike WWI and WWII exhibits featuring the talents of Weta Workshop and some of Sir Peter Jackson’s rare collection of historical aircraft. For aviation enthusiasts, book a joy ride in a classic Boeing Stearman and marvel at the stunning Marlborough scenery far below, across the Wairau Valley to the broody Richmond Ranges.
4. Cycle amongst the vines
One of the more popular things to do in Blenheim is to hire a bike and enjoy a self-guided cycling tour around the Marlborough wine region. Cruise sedately between Blenheim-based cellar doors like Lawson Dry Hills or Wither Hills and sample local wines or pause for a leisurely lunch at a vineyard restaurant. Spend the afternoon cycling down groomed trails or quiet back roads or ditch the bike for a cruisy snooze under leafy vines.
5. Cruise the Marlborough Sounds
Add the stunning Marlborough Sounds to your must-do Blenheim attractions. Made up of ancient sunken river valleys including the Queen Charlotte, Kenepuru and Pelorus Sounds, the area is a comfortable half hour drive from Blenheim. Best experienced on the water, book the top-rated Greenshell Mussel Cruise from Havelock or jump on the Picton Mail Boat Cruise, both great ways to explore hidden inlets and see first-hand how the local’s live in one of New Zealand’s most picturesque spots. Don’t be surprised if a pod of dolphins pops up and surf alongside so keep your camera handy.
Whatever your interests, the things to do in Blenheim are plentiful and fun. Contact our guest-services team at the Bella Vista Motel for information on tours or other Blenheim attractions. We’re only too happy to help.