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Details of the Blenheim region to find where to go, what to do, etc. Two routes to the City of Blenheim depending if one comes straight from Picton (27 kilometres) or from the Nelson area (116 kilometres - approx 2 hours).
From Nelson return back over Route Six east through Havelock to Renwick. See below for more information about the area. Probably best to go on into Blenheim to the Information Centre at the railroad Station (plenty of parking for large vans/buses) on Route One.
Leaving Picton and heading south on Route 1 the hills begin to fade out and the open plains of the New World's number one cold-climate wine region opens up. On the way along this route if in the right season one can also find the cherry and apple orchard stands open. Not too far out of Picton on the left a Welsh pony farm and the Totara Grove alpaca farm after the Picton airport and the golf course.
Turning left at Tuamarina the road takes you to a DOC camp right on the ocean. A very decent place to camp.
Cross the Wairau River then turn right at Spring Creek on Rapaura Road to begin the trip through the wine country. Over 60 wineries available to check out. Wait until Renwick to pick up a bike to really see the place at the best pace.
Travel the Rapaura Road and side roads until reaching Route 6 after Nautilus Estate, turn left through Renwick.
Renwick is the true heart of the Marlborough Wine Country and one of the finest ways to really enjoy the vineyards and the wineries is to rent a bike. The Olde Mill House B&B right in the middle of Renwick has gone out of their way to provide top quality bikes. Staying with them the bikes are free to use also. Have a look at their web page: Olde Mill House B&B and Cycle Hire for the complete information.Their website: Olde Mill House B&B & Cycle Rentals
One of the finest wineries to visit in this area is the Isabel Estate Vineyard here in the Wairau Valley.They are one of the largest famly owned vineyards in Marlborough with some of the oldest vines.From Renwick on Route 63 take a left on Hawkesbury Road until you see the entrance. Check out their website: Isabel Estates Winery
On to Blenheim now and in Spring and Summer don't miss the visit and tastings at Hedgerows Strawberry Farm on Old Renwick Rd corner of Rene Street, between Renwick and Blenheim. Have a picnic, game of petanque and a refreshing real fruit ice-cream! turn down Murphy's Rd to join Route Six (Middle Renwick Road becomes Nelson Street.) The Information Centre is on Route One with plenty of parking for large vehicles. Blenheim is a large town for New Zealand and has everything you may require. If you get in the region in February try to get to the BMW Wine Marlborough Festival the biggest in the country. Need to book ahead. For the best coffee in town check out Figaro's. Joe and crew will take very good care of coffee lovers with Havana Coffee. Recommend the food also. Right down town at 8 Scott Street.
In the heart of Blenheim is Bellafico Restaurant & Wine Bar. The extremely professional restaurant owner, Deiter Schnarre, has created one of the finest spots in Marlborough to enjoy an evening meal in pure ambience. Comfortable and relaxed dining with a wine list admired by world class wine enthusiasts coupled with an equally wonderful dining experience. This is where you want to experience your dining pleasures in the Blenheim area. website: Bellafico Restaurant & Wine Bar
A day spent visiting the wineries of this region is well worth the time to enjoy fabulous wines. This is the largest wine region in New Zealand with internationally award winning wines produced here.
Leaving Blenheim south toward Kaikoura take Route One through the Awatere region. On the outskirts of Blenheim on the left is the two hectare Duncannon Holiday Park. Magnificent place surrounding a 1912 villa. The camp amenities are housed in a cottage built in 1905. From here it's off to the fabulous East Coast of the South Island! The drive to Kaikoura is about two hours direct.
Several kilometres out of Blenheim on the left you will pass the Grassmere Salt Works where the country gets it entire supply of salt. Just past the salt flats on the left is a road to Marfells Beach an eight km drive. Great place to stop for the night or just to spend a little time.