A Travellerspoint blog

July 2012

Grape expectations

A journey towards the wineries of the Marlborough region

View Just a big holiday on ClareAndTom's travel map.

We had a meandering journey to Mapua Wharf, stopping frequently to sample cider and buy punnets of fruit from roadside stalls. We stopped at Mapua for a wander around, wishing we’d camped here the night before – there was a brewery and lots of tasty looking restaurants. We consoled ourselves with lunch overlooking the water.


Mapua Wharf

Nelson was our base for the night. We had a look at the street market there, and saw some performances that were part of the busking festival taking place. In the afternoon we visited a park full of historic buildings, one of which was a brewery.

Enjoying a beer tasting at Founders Brewery in Nelson

Our campsite had a very friendly family of ducks

In the evening we watched the busking festival before trying some beers in several of Nelson’s pubs

We started the morning with yet another beer tasting before travelling eastwards. We stopped for lunch at Pelorus Bridge, and liked the look of the campsite by the river so decided to stay for the night.

The river at Pelorus Bridge

In the afternoon we went for a walk which promised two waterfalls. They weren’t very impressive – this one had dried up

Tom went for a dip in the inviting looking but quite chilly river

We drove through Havelock, famous for its mussels, but we were too early to try any here

Looking down the impressive Pelorus Sound

The boats give a sense of the scale of Pelorus Sound

We drove to Blenheim, and finding it wet and boring tried the tourist information for inspiration – it seemed that visiting vineyards was the main activity, which we’d planned to do the next day. The Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre got good reviews, so we popped in there on our way to Renwick. Afterwards we stopped off at our first Marlborough-region winery, the very posh Wither Hills.

One of the scenes of First World War aircraft in the aviation museum

One of the museum’s planes with the Wither Hills in the background

Renwick presented some exciting dinner options

More beer! The “English-style” pub in Renwick had a sunny beer garden, where we prepared ourselves for the day of wine tasting ahead of us

There were loads of vineyards surrounding Renwick and the best way to visit them was on a bike. We hired bikes (complete with panniers to carry wine) and were given a map and lots of advice – our target was to visit six wineries that day.


Sheep grazing amongst the vines

It was scenic cycling around, with vineyards at the side of every road and mountains in the distance

Despite appearances, we didn’t get too tipsy and managed to stay on the bikes

All the wineries we visited!

We got round eight wineries and a brewery that day. We were quite pleased with ourselves, and finished the day with fish and chips and a bottle we’d purchased. Before leaving the area the next day we squeezed in another three wineries and a chocolate factory. Sadly (or maybe luckily for our livers and wallets) we had to limit the number of bottles we bought as we’d soon be leaving New Zealand.

Posted by ClareAndTom 13:16 Archived in New Zealand Comments (2)

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