Blenheim To Nelson via Havelock

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Blenheim Information center

If you are planning on exploring Marlborough wine country then Blenheim is the place to start. Then go onto Havelock, gateway to the beautiful Pelorus and Kenepuru Sounds, or further still to sunny Nelson with it's golden beaches and arts & crafts - and access to the amazing Abel Tasman National Park.

Blenheim

Taylor River

Blenheim regularly features as the sunniest town in New Zealand - nestled in the Wairau Valley - surrounded by the yellow tussock coloured mountains, it's a perfect spot for growing grapes and making wine - this is the home of the world famous Marlborough wines.

If you feel wine tasting is a must and nobody is keen on being the designated driver - try the Wine Tour by Bike - it is tailored to suit you, so 1/2 a day or a full day (bikes and helmets are supplied!).


See and Do

  • Take time to wander along the Taylor River that runs through Blenheim
  • Take one of the many walks up the Wither Hills Farm Park to get a great view of the area
  • Visit the weekend market at the Railway Station (also the iSite)
  • Visit one of the many Arts & Crafts shops - look out for the signs (they're numbered so you won't miss one out)
  • If you're into vintage farm equipment, you'll have to visit the Brayshaw Heritage Park (near the hospital)

Eat and Drink

  • You can't go past the many vineyards and wineries without stopping for a "taste" and a bite to eat at their world class restaurants (like Montana's Brancott Winery)- or take a bike tour.
  • Stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables at a road side stall

Stop Awhile

  • Duncannon Caravan Park (2 km south of Blenheim) has loads of facilities

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Blenheim to Havelock

Traffic Sign

Follow the signs to Nelson and head off on SH6. You will first pass through Renwick Town, another centre of great wine making, before heading the short drive (20 minutes) to Havelock. You will drive through vineyards, then farmland and you will notice the hills of the Sounds coming towards you, and then you're in Havelock.


Eat and Drink

  • Have a picnic at Forrest vineyard - and enjoy a wine
  • Visit the Vines Village (193 Rapaura Rd) for wine, liqueur and great food

Stop Awhile

  • Stay overnight at Onamalutu Domain on the north bank of the Wairau River on the road to Havelock

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Havelock

This is the Greenshell Mussel capital of the world and the gateway to the beautiful Pelorus and Kenepuru Sounds (and the birthplace of my grandfather).

See and Do

  • If you are interested in physics, visit the Info Centre and Rutherford Backpackers - in the old school building that boasts famous former students Earnest Rutherford (he split the atom) and William Pickering (a NASA rocket scientist)
  • If you have children visit the Eyes on Nature Fish Museum
  • take a cruise down the Pelorus Sound on the Mail Boat or one of the other cruise providers - you will be blown away by the sheer natural beauty of the Sounds
  • Check out the work of local artists at the Te Tiki Gallery or at the Wakamarinian Cafe

Eat and Drink

Stop at one of the cafes

  • Wakamarinian Deli has great food and a gallery
  • Inlet Bakery and Cafe on the main street has its own Mussel Pie as well as other great flavours
  • We love Slip Inn which is on the marina - you can just sit and watch the boats as they come and go. The food is great and in the winter you can warm up next to the fire

Stop Awhile

  • Take in the spectacular views from the Tui Nature Reserve - and listen to the birdcall
  • Stay at the Havelock Motor Camp (Inglis Rd)

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Havelock To Nelson

Leave Havelock and head 70 km towards Nelson via the Rai Valley - you're guaranteed fog in the early hours in winter!

From the Rai Valley you can leave SH6 and head to French Pass, Tennyson Inlet or Okiwi Bay - all beautiful spots in the Marlborough Sounds. The Pelorus and Rai rivers are famous for trout fishing. Or closer to Nelson, take a detour to Cable Bay.

See and Do

  • Fishing fans - don't miss out on trout fishing in the Pelorus or Rai rivers
  • Kayak in the Marine Reserve at Cable Bay - it's just 20 minutes from Nelson. Click here for more information
  • Have an adrenaline rush at Happy Valley Adventures (Cable Bay Rd) - take to the sky a "fly" across the native forest in the SkyWire (New Zealand's longest flying fox) or horse trek or take a quad bike out for a bit of fun

Eat and Drink

  • Stop at the Trout hotel for a meal
  • Rai Valley has a friendly cafe for refreshments

To read more on Nelson and Golden Bay and the Abel Tasman National Park, click here.

Stop Awhile

  • Stop at Pelorus Bridge - there is a campsite next to the cafe, and it has disabled facilities
  • Stay at French Pass or Tennyson Inlet - head north from Rai Valley. There is a commercial campsite at Okiwi Bay and a DOC campsite at French Pass. To read about DOC French Pass campsite, click here.
  • Stay at Cable Bay Holiday Park

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