Departing from Wellington, this three-day Marlborough highlights package will take you from the coolest little capital to the northeastern tip of the South Island. It’s well known for its winemaking industry, and the Marlborough Sounds, an extensive network of coastal waterways, peninsulas and islands.
Discover the highlights of Marlborough
From $737* per person
2 nights, based on share twin, for travel 1 May 2021 to 30 September 2021
From $777* per person
2 nights, based on share twin, for travel 1 October 2021 to 14 December 2021, enquire today for other travel dates
Departing Wellington aboard an Interislander ferry, you'll sit back in the comfy sofas of the Plus Lounge where you can enjoy a complimentary cooked or continental breakfast. As you cruise through the Sounds in the late morning, you can even enjoy a taste of Marlborough, with complimentary wine or beer.
After arriving in Picton, you will then transfer to Blenheim the largest wine region in New Zealand. Blenheim will be your base for the next two nights as you explore a select number of top iconic and boutique wineries for special tastings and then visit some of the most stunning corners of the vast area of the Marlborough Sounds.
Departing from Wellington Interislander Terminal, the first leg of your great escape is a voyage of discovery. While cruising through Wellington Harbour, you'll take in the famous sights of Oriental Parade, Matui Island, Eastbourne, and the historic Pencarrow lighthouses.
Heading out onto Cook Strait, you'll be travelling north to where two seas meet. On a clear day, you'll see Cloudy Bay and Blenheim on the far shore with the Kaikoura mountains rising in the distance. On the Wellington side, you'll see the wild hills of Cape Terawhiti.
The hour-long passage through Cook Strait is an ideal opportunity to enjoy our range of food and beverages. During the morning sailing, both cooked and continental breakfasts are available with juices, teas and coffees. There is also a selection of cakes, pastries, hot and cold food available if you're looking for something other than breakfast.
The final chapter of an incredible voyage is spent sailing through the sheltered Marlborough Sounds - a safe haven for marine and birdlife. As you cruise through the Tory Channel, there is an excellent chance of seeing dolphins and several native bird species, along with the awe-inspiring scenery of Marlborough.
After a sharp turn around Dieffenbach Point, you will be on the broad Queen Charlotte Sound (known locally as Totaranui) and soon the twinkling town of Picton will be visible in the distance.
Once in Picton, we'll transfer you to Blenheim and the Chateau Marlborough Hotel - your base for the next two nights.
Once checked into your accommodation at Chateau Marlborough Hotel you'll have the rest of the afternoon/ evening to explore Blenheim.
Blenheim is the largest town in Marlborough and the largest grape growing and winemaking region with over 65 wineries. Located just a short 25-minute drive from the stunning Marlborough Sounds, Blenheim has become very well known for its eating, drinking, biking, and walks alongside its amazing aviation museum. With all that Blenheim has to offer, you'll be spoilt for choice, whether you follow our itinerary or create your own and discover new things along the way.
Following a great night's sleep, you'll have the morning free.
You could extend your half-day afternoon wine tour to a full-day wine tour (additional charges apply) or explore the town of Blenheim.
Our picks are:
The Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre (tickets can be purchased at the time of booking and transfers arranged). You'll get to explore the original Knights of the Sky exhibition, which features Sir Peter Jackson’s own collection of WW1 aircraft and artifacts. Created by the famous WingNut Films and Weta Workshop, the story of aviation in the Great War is brought to life in sensational sets throughout the museum.
If time permits there is now also a second exhibition ‘Dangerous Skies’ which is well worth seeing. Bringing to life stories and tales from World War II covering the British Isles to the forests of Germany, an embattled but courageous Russia, and the steaming hot jungles of South East Asia.
Across the road is Omaka Classic Cars which displays a collection of more than one hundred cars all built in the second half of the 20th century.
The Marlborough Museum is known for its Wine Exhibition, Te Pokohiwi 1250 A.D. (Wairau Boulder Bank archaeology exhibition), including the famous Jim Eyles Collection. Marlborough history (Captain James Cook, natural history), Victorian Rooms and the remarkable pottery collections of Elizabeth Lissaman, and Fran Maguire are also highlights.
Or if you looking to just enjoy a stroll - then Polland Park is the place to go. A favorite among the locals the wooded parkland with rose gardens, a floral garden and rhododendron dell are well worth checking out.
The afternoon will see you head off on a small group tour to visit a selected number of top iconic and boutique wineries for special tastings, chosen for their history, fabulous customer service, unique offering, and stunning range of wines. The is half-day tour is ideal for gaining an introduction to Marlborough’s incredible wine region in a fun and relaxed way.
You'll enjoy tasting the delicious wine, wandering the beautiful wineries, and meeting the people who know the wine and love sharing their passion for it.
At the conclusion of the tour, you'll be returned back to your accommodation at Chateau Marlborough Hotel.
The rest of the afternoon/evening is free time.
Today you'll enjoy a full day out in the Marlborough Sounds. You'll transfer from Chateau Marlborough Hotel to Picton wharf where your boat will be awaiting your arrival.
From here your cruise through the scenic Queen Charlotte Sound in the Marlborough Sounds to a resort for a sumptuous lunch. You'll have two options to choose from.
Cruise to Furneaux Lodge through Queen Charlotte Sound/Tōtaranui in the morning, arriving in time for lunch at the Furneaux Restaurant.
Choose your delicious lunch from the set menu, and relax on the sweeping lawn overlooking Endeavour Inlet, or inside the cosy restaurant in Furneaux’s historic homestead.
Explore the grounds, do a short walk or simply drink in the views until it’s time to meet us at the jetty for the scenic cruise home - approx 3pm.
Cruise to Punga Cove through Queen Charlotte Sound/Tōtaranui in the morning, arriving in time for lunch at the Boatshed Café & Bar.
Relax on the jetty while overlooking Endeavour Inlet, or inside the welcoming café while you enjoy your lunch from the tasty set menu, including stone-baked pizzas.
Explore the grounds, sit on the beach or simply drink in the views until we pick you up again for the scenic boat ride home - at approx 3.15pm.
Or if you are feeling fit and the weather is fine you can enjoy a walk on the Queen Charlotte Track. Starting at either Furneaux Lodge or Punga Cove the walk takes approximately 3.5hrs. Then enjoy a bite to eat on your arrival at the lodge.
On arrival back into Picton around 4.30pm you'll have free time until it's time to board the Interislander ferry. On your return journey, you'll once again experience our Plus Lounge with its complimentary food and beverages as you reflect back on a magical few days while cruising through the Marlborough Sounds and across the Cook Strait back to Wellington.
**Additional accommodation nights can be added to the package as well as pre and post your journey, as well as listed activities. Ask our Travel Consultant when booking this package**
Room upgrades are available at a surcharge (subject to availability). During times of high demand, if the advertised package room is not available, a substitution of a similar or better room may be made to complete the package and a surcharge may apply.