The New Zealand wine-growing region of Marlborough is famous all over the world, and Blenheim is the area's largest town. The town maintains a friendly rivalry with close neighbour Nelson for the title of New Zealand's sunniest town and is a wonderful choice for a holiday or break. Blenheim is on the Opawa and Taylor Rivers in the country's South Island. Walking and hiking are popular in the surrounding countryside, and the Wither Hills Bike Trail is a must for mountain bikers. There are trips available to local vineyards, and there is even a cycling tour which takes around 4 hours and is suitable for all levels of cyclists. The history of the region is well-documented at the Marlborough Provincial Museum at Arthur Baker Place, and aviation fans are in for a real treat at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre. Peter Jackson who is well-known for the Lord of the Rings films is associated with the aviation centre, and his Weta Workshop team has created a spectacular display for the collection of World War I planes. Visitors can catch a game of rugby at Lansdowne Park, or just take a stroll in Pollard Park just off Parker Street which is beautifully landscaped.
When to fly to Blenheim
Summer (December to February) is the best time for a visit to Blenheim NZ if you plan to explore the Marlborough wine country, or if you intend to cycle or hike. Visit in winter for easy access to the excellent skiing near Nelson Lakes.
While Blenheim area is very popular all year round and it can be fairly expensive to fly there, many carriers operate a slightly cheaper service from March to May.
Getting around Blenheim
There are local bus and taxi services, but as everything is within walking distance it is generally far easier to travel on foot. There is an on demand bus service for groups of hikers, mountain bikers and skiers to Nelson Lakes National Park, St Arnaud, Kahurangi National Park and the Richmond Ranges.