Add dates
Marlborough, New Zealand

Culture & History

Our most recommended Marlborough, New Zealand Culture & History

Queen Charlotte Sound Mail Boat Cruise from Picton

1. Queen Charlotte Sound Mail Boat Cruise from Picton

Climb aboard the only official licensed New Zealand Post Rural Delivery Service by water in the Queen Charlotte Sound for a truly unique and interesting tour! Join in the excitement of Mail Day as the skipper delivers the New Zealand Rural post bags, groceries and freight to the residents that call the Queen Charlotte Sound waterways home. The Mail has been delivered by boat for over 150 years in the Queen Charlotte Sounds. Admire Marlborough Sounds' magnificent scenery and take a glimpse into daily life in the remote outposts of this region. Operating from Monday to Saturday, no one day is the same. The route changes daily, covering a different area and delivering the mail. During your cruise your skipper will provide interesting and informative commentary on the history of the Marlborough Sounds and the people who lived there then and now. Feel free to ask questions and keep your camera handy for any wildlife encounters.

Marlborough Sounds and Ship Cove Cruise from Picton

2. Marlborough Sounds and Ship Cove Cruise from Picton

Navigate the magnficent waterways of Marlborough Sounds on a morning boat tour, departing from the Picton waterfront. Cruise up through the Queen Charlotte Sound to historical Ship Cove. Warm up with tea and coffee and listen to live commentary on regional historical and natural landmarks. Keep a lookout for marine life such as little blue penguins and Hector’s dolphins — considered the rarest marine dolphin in the world. After about an hour’s journey, your boat drops anchor at Ship Cove. Step ashore for 30 minutes and discover the inlet named by Captain James Cook on 15 January 1770. The Endeavour was anchored here to replenish supplies and the spot became a favourite anchorage of Captain Cook. Dabble in the creek where Captain Cook made home brew for his crew and share the beach with the resident wildlife. Have your photo taken beside the Captain Cook Monument commemorating his visits to this area. Or, just relax and enjoy the tranquil surrounds.

Marlborough Half-Day Wine Tour from Blenheim

3. Marlborough Half-Day Wine Tour from Blenheim

Discover the flavors of Marlborough on a half-day small-group tour. Be picked up from your Blenheim accommodation and travel through the scenic beauty of the Marlborough vineyards. Collection from Picton is available at a small surcharge per group. Relax in a luxury minibus as your guide shares insight into the region’s history and world famous wines. You will visit five cellar doors on this tour from famous internationally branded cellar doors to boutique family-run wineries. Requests for particular wineries will be accommodated where possible.  Stroll through a vineyard with your guide. Learn about the region’s unique conditions and the challenges wine makers must overcome. A table for lunch at a cellar door restaurant can be booked for you for an additional cost. Sample hand-made chocolates at the local Chocolate Factory. Your tour will end with your safe delivery back to your hotel around 3 PM. 

Picton: Marlborough Wineries & Hotspots Hop-on Hop-off Tour

4. Picton: Marlborough Wineries & Hotspots Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Enjoy the flexibility of exploring Marlborough at your own pace without the stress of wondering where to go. Spend more time exploring with the conveniently organized transportation of this hop-on hop-off tour.  Sit back and relax on a comfortable coach as your knowledgeable driver prepares you with all the information needed for a fantastic day out.  Visit popular attractions and local gems in Marlborough, including museums, breweries, restaurants, activity centers, shopping areas, and of course, some of the best breweries and wineries in the region.  Jump on and off as you please, visiting as many destinations as you like and choosing your duration of stay at each spot.

Marlborough Wine, Gourmet and Scenic Tour from Blenheim

5. Marlborough Wine, Gourmet and Scenic Tour from Blenheim

Enjoy a gourmet tour of the Marlborough Region of New Zealand's South Island on an itinerary that can be customized to suit your interests. Visit wine cellars offering a variety of unique styles, and experience stunning landscapes that are a treat for the eyes.  Depart Blenheim at 10:00, and embark on a journey through the award-winning wines of the region. Meet the wine makers and exceptional hosts at wineries that stay open all year round for your convenience. Benefit from the services of a local chauffeur/guide with extensive knowledge of the region. Venture through the Wairau Valley, and fall in love with the wines as you experience new varietals. Get spectacular views of the rolling hills and see how they contrast with the vineyards, market gardens and farms. Stop for seasonal produce (December through February) of juicy strawberries, cherries, apricots and nectarines, along with local cheeses, oils, liqueurs, Manuka honey, peanut butter and black garlic. Make a special stop at the Makana Confections Boutique Chocolate Factory for some divine chocolate treats! As wine is the main attraction of the Marlborough Region (it's New Zealand's largest wine producer), you will want to taste the produce. Acclaimed for its Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir wines, the region is also home to wineries that specialize in Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Viognier, Gruener Veltliner, Arneis and even Malbec wines. Relax in a picturesque winery garden café or at a chateau on the hill with magnificent views of the valley and vineyards. Enjoy a cheese, meat and seafood platter or tapas. Then, as you near the end of the day, benefit from beautiful views that create a perfect ambiance for a dinner with your favorite wine of the day. Get the chance to include a trip to the Omaka Aviation Heritage Center to see Peter Jackson's amazing displays of classic World War I and World War II aircraft and the most life-like scenic backdrops of the era. Your guide can drop you off at the center and continue with the rest of the group to return within 1-5 hours if you prefer. This would be the minimum time to really take advantage of the exhibition, and a café and memorabilia store are available for your comfort and convenience.

Marlborough Sounds: Full-Day Guided Kayak Tour with Lunch

6. Marlborough Sounds: Full-Day Guided Kayak Tour with Lunch

The day starts with a safety briefing and getting kitted up before heading down to the beach. Listen to a quick paddling introduction and then head out onto the water for the rest of the tour. The route is always flexible so the tour goes where the weather is best. Depending on how the group decides, there may be a chance to stop and stretch your legs or take a swim before continuing on to a pretty beach for a delicious picnic lunch. Upon landing at the beach, your guide will serve up some hot drinks. After lunch, work your way back towards the starting beach, all going well with a sea breeze at your back. Once back at the beach, you will de-kit and then head off on the rest of your adventure in New Zealand. Showers are available if needed (water dependent during the drier months).

Blenheim: Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre Admission Ticket

7. Blenheim: Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre Admission Ticket

Discover two world-class aviation exhibitions at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre. Explore the original "Knights of the Sky" exhibition, featuring Sir Peter Jackson's collection of WWI aircraft and artifacts. Learn about the story of aviation during the Great War, which is brought to life in sensational sets created by an internationally acclaimed production company and a special effects company. Make your way to the "Dangerous Skies" exhibition which features aviaton stories from World War II. Learn of tales of valor and tragedy from the British Isles, the forests of Germany, the defence of Russia, and the steaming hot jungles of South East Asia. Admire the two star attractions of the exhibition, the world's only flyable Mk1 Avro Anson, and a Griffon powered Mk.XIVe Spitfire.

From Blenheim: Marlborough Wines and Aviation Day Tour

8. From Blenheim: Marlborough Wines and Aviation Day Tour

Benefit from pickup at your accommodation in Blenheim, and then travel to the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre to look at life-size displays of aviation scenes from World War I and World War II. Explore the times of early aviators of the 20th century and more.  Then, travel through the vineyards of the award-winning Marlborough wine region, known for its fruity Cabernet Sauvignons and zesty Pinot Noirs. Access the barrel rooms and cellars in the valley, and stop for lunch at your own expense at a vineyard restaurant. Sample handmade gourmet chocolates at a chocolate factory at the end of your amazing experience before drop-off back at your hotel.

From Picton: Private Wine and Gourmet Tour of Marlborough

9. From Picton: Private Wine and Gourmet Tour of Marlborough

Create your perfect day in the Marlborough wine region on a 6-hour tour priced for a group of up to 6 people. Your chauffeur/guide will help you pick the best spots to enjoy the fantastic wines of Marlborough and peaceful vineyard settings. You’ll be taken on an exciting wine and gourmet experience on this private day tour from Picton. Enjoy stunning views of the Marlborough wine region and taste fine wines and delicious gourmet treats. Your interests are the priority for the day and might include visits to award-winning gardens, local producers, and talented local artisans. Your tour is tailored especially for you. If you’re interested in history, you could enjoy a stop at the Heritage Air Museum to see Peter Jackson's amazing classic aircraft displays. If you’re interested in arts and crafts, you can stop meet a local artist and visit a renowned gallery. Additional highlights could include a local brewery, a private home gourmet kitchen, or a scenic drive around the bays of Marlborough Sounds. Sit back and relax with wide views from the windows as you meander through the Wairau Plains, the expansive vineyards, the rolling hills of the valley, and the local horticultural and farming spots, with the Pacific Ocean nearby. As Marlborough is the heart of the New Zealand wine region, wine tasting is usually at the top of the list. The many wineries and cellar door hosts offer a truly personal experience to showcase award-winning wines all year round. Treats of Marlborough's gourmet and local produce can be slipped in to suit. Tastings can include local cheeses as well, along with the Manuka honey, peanut butters with a difference, black garlic, smoked mushrooms and lots more. During the season, from November through to February, local produce can be found at roadside stalls. You’ll find asparagus, juicy cherries, strawberries, raspberries, apricots, nectarines and more. Lunch venues run from a beautiful winery garden restaurant to a chateau on a hill with amazing views. Wine tasting is available or you could enjoy a glass or bottle of wine suited to your menu choices. Cheese platters are also offered at some of the cellar doors to accompany your wine tasting. A major highlight of all tours is a stop at the Makana Chocolate Boutique, where you’ll be tempted, to say the least. If you are attending a Marlborough event or are visiting on business and prefer the privacy of your own chauffeured tour, your chauffeur/guide will create a custom itinerary to suit your requirements. Private appointments can be arranged for your specific industry.

Picton Self-Guided Audio Tour

10. Picton Self-Guided Audio Tour

Download a vibrant MP3 self-guided audio tour combined with a fully detailed map of the area of your tour. Enjoy the beautiful and serene area of Picton, where you will learn about the history of how the town was formed on the site of a former Māori settlement and where the Whaling Stations were located. In this audio tour, you will walk through the tranquil and recently renovated Picton Foreshore, and take in the amazing views of the seaside community. You will also see the Edwin Fox, the Whaling Harpoon, the Quay, the Victoria Doman, the War memorial Archway and the Sennen House. Picton is a lively yet peaceful city full of eclectic architecture and quirky features. 

Frequently asked questions about Marlborough, New Zealand Culture & History

What are other things to do than Culture & History that are worth visiting in Marlborough, New Zealand?

The other unmissable things to do in Marlborough, New Zealand are:

Which Marlborough, New Zealand Culture & History are taking additional COVID-19 precautions?

Other Sightseeing Options in Marlborough, New Zealand

Want to discover all there is to do in Marlborough, New Zealand? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Marlborough, New Zealand

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 13 reviews

Nice afternoon on the water with a fantastic guide/captain/compare who told great jokes and stopped to see the dolphins. Thanks heaps, and loved seeing and hearing how people live in the sounds. Vicki and Ian

A must do activity, great crew, interesting and informative commentary, saw some dolphins - plus a seal and a lot of birdlife.

Absolutely fantastic. Scenery out of this world. Ryhan the skipper what he didn’t know about the Area wasn’t worth knowing

Super awesome experience. Friendly and knowledgeable guide. Amazing scenery. Highly recommended to all

Great experience, Sue was a pleasure and we learnt so much! Thank you Sue