How to Spend 3 Days in Blenheim
With three days in Blenheim, slow down to the leisurely pace of life in this wine-growing region, exploring by car, cruise boat, or even bicycle. Then venture beyond the vineyards, and you’ll find marine wildlife, winding paths, and wartime history. Here’s how to plan your time.
Day 1: Wine-Tasting 101
There are more than two dozen wineries on the Marlborough Wine Trail, and guided tours can help you find the most appealing stops: You’ll likely see sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, riesling, and pinot gris, along with a range of lesser-known varietals. Most wine tours offer multiple stops with wine tastings included, as well as round-trip transport. To combine wine with some of the region’s gourmet treats, consider a tour that features food stops, as well. If you’re still up for exploring afterward, head to Blenheim’s Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, where exhibits feature vintage aircraft from the First and Second World Wars.
Day 2: Run Off to Sea
Where the vineyards end a gorgeous coastal landscape begins, and Blenheim makes a great home base for visiting the scenic Marlborough Sounds. Options for exploring the inlets, islands, and coves here range from speedboat trips to slow journeys by mail boat, on which you actually travel with the mail to far-flung island communities. However you visit, keep an eye on the water, since the Marlborough Sounds are home to dolphins, whales, and other remarkable marine wildlife. Visiting during the summer months means warmer temperatures for swimming, but there’s gorgeous sightseeing at any time of year—enclosed boats ensure even wintertime cruises are cozy.
Day 3: Ride the Marlborough Wine Trail
Now that you’ve experienced the basics of Marlborough wines, graduate to a next-level wine-tasting tour. For your last day in Blenheim, rent a bike to explore a few more vineyards; options for cycling include guided bicycle tours and independent rentals that give you a full day of freedom. If you opt for cycling on your own, look for rentals with options that could include packed picnic lunches, wine-themed maps of the area, and hotel transfers. Many operators offer both half- and full-day options, so you can make the day as active—or as leisurely—as you want. After a day or an afternoon of riding, enjoy a well-earned dinner in one of Blenheim’s vineyard restaurants, many of which pair their own wines with farm-to-table cuisine.