Vines stretch from Blenheim across the Marlborough Region, guiding thirsty visitors to the town’s many good wineries. Wine is Blenheim’s big draw, but the town doubles as a base camp for visiting the Marlborough Sounds, where you can cruise remote coastlines, spot marine wildlife, and get a glimpse of island life. Here’s how to plan two days in Blenheim.
Day 1: Discover Marlborough Wine
**Morning:**With so many vineyards and wineries to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. Wine tours do the research for you: Choose an excursion that visits a handful of spots, and you’ll get a good introduction to local styles, pick up tips on tasting Marlborough wines, and find out which the places you want to return to.
**Afternoon:**Trade wine for wartime history at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, a museum with galleries devoted to aircraft from the First and Second World Wars. Book a ticket for the one that interests you most, or buy a combination ticket for access to both wings of this fascinating museum.
**Night:**In the hours before sunset, rent a bike for a leisurely cruise on the flat roads and bike paths around Blenheim. Bring along a picnic for an alfresco dinner, or make your destination one of the many local vineyards with on-site restaurants.
Day 2: Explore Marlborough Sounds
**Morning:**Today, head for the nearby coast of Marlborough Sounds. The landscape here splinters into a maze of islands, bays, and inlets, and your options for exploring range from high-speed jet boats to the mail boats that link up remote island communities.
**Afternoon:**As you continue deeper into Marlborough Sounds, watch for the abundant marine wildlife that can be spotted from the boat. The winter months bring humpback whales, but there are seals, dolphins, stingrays, and orcas, as well.
**Night:**With your final night in Blenheim, choose one of the town’s wine-focused restaurants for an evening of local flavors. If you are planning to make a final vineyard visit in the morning, sampling wines over dinner is a great way to discover lesser-known names.