Why you need to visit Marlborough and Tasman

Walking through the Abel Tasman
Walking through the Abel Tasman

At the very top of New Zealand's South Island, there's an unmistakable freshness to the land and the ocean that is the Marlborough and Tasman regions. An enviable climate, sheltered coastlines and world class food and wine mix with stunningly diverse landscapes, ranging from sandy beaches to rugged mountains and glistening lakes to provide the perfect place for your next holiday.

With activities on offer for all types of active adventurers, we share the best ways to explore this special corner of NZ.

Hiking above Marlborough Sound provides amazing views of the beauty below |  <i>Ross Daubney</i>

For Hikers

The Abel Tasman and Queen Charlotte walking tracks are among NZ’s finest coastal walks, boasting a myriad of white sand beaches, revitalising swimming spots, and abundant bird and sea life.

Queen Charlotte Track (70km)
Combining the best of New Zealand walking, native bush and stunning views of the sounds, the Queen Charlotte Track is utterly unique. A seamless network of water transport, resorts and lodges and great food and wine make this trail perfect for those looking to walk the full trail or just a section. You'll find this trail an hour and a half from Nelson or half an hour from the ferry terminal in Picton.

Abel Tasman Coastal Walk (67km)
Blessed with a mild climate, golden beaches and lush coastal native bush, the Abel Tasman Coast Track has it all. The undulating trail lets you explore the sea from the beaches, and admire the views from above. Easily accessible by boat for those looking to walk a portion of the trail, you'll find this trail just over an hour from Nelson.

Why not do both? Our Marlborough Sounds and Abel Tasman Trails allows you to sample the best sections of both trails as well as sailing in the Tasman Sea and exploring the Nearby Nelson Lakes. View Hike >


For Foodies

Producing over 75% of all New Zealand wine, no trip to Marlborough is complete without heading to a world-acclaimed winery or two. Mix this with the Tasman's growing wine scene, orchards, boutiques shops and fresh local produce -  it's safe to say a visit to these regions definitely requires thirst and a good appetite!

Brancott Estate winery | Tim de Jong

Burn off those extra calories with a 6 day leisurely cycling tour on our Nelson Great Taste Trail. This itinerary has all the trademarks of a great introductory cycling journey - inspiring scenery, quiet back country roads, flat cycle trails, long easy downhill runs and of course great food and wine.

We break the cycling up with a half day hike on the Abel Tasman walking track before boarding a catamaran for an exciting sail around the heads.  View cycle


For Roadies

You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to road riding in the Northern regions of the South Island. Rapidly changing scenery means you can easily find yourself riding along a coastal road one minute, and be cruising through a vineyard or orchard the next.

In some areas it can be difficult to find a balance when searching for the most scenic roads with the least amount of traffic, so it pays to be thorough in your planning.

We’ve mapped out all the best routes on our Marlborough and West Coast Cycle. Highlights such as bay rides in the Queen Charlotte Sound, cycling through the Moutere Vineyards and heading across to the West Coast to ride the Buller Gorge (arguably one of the best days rides in NZ), makes this trip a favourite among our travellers. View cycle >


Cycling alongside the many vineyards along the Nelson Great Taste Trail | Rossco Daubney

The best time of year to visit

Whilst summer is a popular time to visit, locals believe that the shoulder seasons are actually the best time to explore the park, as crisp mornings, calm waters and quiet beaches allow you truly appreciate the peace and serenity.

Have any questions? Don't hesitate to contact one of our friendly team [email protected]


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