10 brilliant things to do in Blenheim

If you’ve been looking for the best things to do in Blenheim, then you’re in the right place. Join us as we uncover the top attractions in this charming town.

With an impressive amount of sunshine, great wines, and an intriguing history, it’s no surprise that Blenheim is a popular place to visit in the South Island.

But if you’re wondering what you can do in Blenheim aside from sipping on Sauvignon Blanc, we’re here to help.

We’ve rounded up the ultimate list of interesting things to do in Blenheim, ensuring you’ll be happily occupied for days.

Covering everything from the best wineries to stunning hikes and historical points of interest, you’ll sail through your trip without a hitch.

And hey – a few sips of wine are bound to sweeten the deal, right?

A vineyard planted in rows with trees and mountains on the surroundings and a beautiful golden sunset emanating from the sun behind the clouds.
Photo: Jessica Jones and Hans Herzog.

The Best Things to Do in Blenheim

1. Hit the wineries

The Marlborough area is incredibly popular for its delightful white wines, and it produces around 75% of all New Zealand wine.

So, it’s no surprise that one of the best things to do in Blenheim is pay a visit to the local wineries!

Believe it or not, there are an impressive 37 vineyards around Blenheim, and many people choose to cycle between them for a spot of fresh air.

If you’re not feeling particularly active, you can drive to spots like Cloudy Bay Vineyards, Saint Clair Family Estate, and Lawson’s Dry Hills Winery & Cellar Door for delicious pours.

This area is most popular for Sauvignon Blancs, but you’ll also spot a few other options at tasting sessions across the region.

Oh, and most of them are free!

A couple strolling hand in hand through the vineyards, surrounded by endless rows of grapevines under a blue sky.
Photo: MarlboroughNZ.

2. Visit Wither Hills Farm Park

Another one of our favourite places to visit in Blenheim is Wither Hills Farm Park which covers 1100 hectares.

It’s a top place to check out if you want to take in Blenheim’s sprawling vineyards and hilltops on a hike.

But you can also hop on a bike and barrel down the graded tracks at the mountain biking park nearby!

You can get here by heading to the Rifle Range Place, but you can also access the trails from Cob Cottage Road, Weld Street, and Fyffe Street.

Don’t worry about getting lost either.

Everything is extremely well sign-posted and it’s a popular spot for locals – so, don’t stress about asking for help!

And if you’re visiting during the springtime, keep an eye out for New Zealand’s gorgeous sun orchids which tend to pop up around these parts!

Wither Hills, Blenheim 7201

The rolling golden white hills of Wither Hills Farm Park showing its winding trails with some trees and bushes in the landscape.
Photo: MarlboroughNZ.

3. Try some craft beer

If you’re not a huge fan of wines, then you might want to add craft beer tasting to your list of things to do in Blenheim.

Dodson Street Beer Garden is the place to visit for delicious craft brews and a classic beer garden.

But you can also stop by 5 Tapped Ltd, Renaissance (an award-winning spot!), or Boom Town Beer if they’re booked up!

Not all of them have cellar door access, but a few will let you watch the brewing process in action!

Throw in some amazing pub grub, and you’ll have an incredible afternoon on your hands.

4. Chill out in Pollard Park

You can’t beat a trip to Pollard Park if you want to stroll through gorgeous gardens or take a break from the bustling city centre.

It’s just 10 minutes from town, and it boasts gazebos, tons of wooded areas, and a few stunning gardens.

We recommend checking out the scented garden if you’re feeling stressed.

But the rhododendron and rose gardens are equally beautiful!

As it spans an impressive 64 acres, you can easily spend a couple of hours enjoying a picnic and chilling out in Pollard Park.

55 Parker Street, Mayfield, Blenheim 7201

5. Explore the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre

For a glimpse into New Zealand’s rich aviation history, you need to check out Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre.

It’s essentially a large museum that displays famous aircraft from films and real-life battles.

Not only will you come across World War II planes like the Yakovlev Yak-3, but you’ll be able to see incredible scenes put together by directors like Peter Jackson.

This place is all about the drama.

Most of the aircraft are from WWI and WWII, but you can also take joy flights in a Boeing Starman if you fancy it!

79 Aerodrome Road, Omaka, Blenheim 7272

6. Check out the Marlborough Museum

No list of the best things to do in Blenheim would be complete without the incredible Marlborough Museum!

This long-standing gem offers several different exhibitions to guests, including archaeology, wine, and pottery-themed ones.

They tend to switch up their temporary exhibits throughout the year.

Plus, there’s usually a fascinating exhibition or two about European settlement history.

But we’d say that it’s the glorious pottery collections from Elizabeth Lissaman and Fran Maguire that take the cake!

The opening hours are relatively short and run between 10 am – 4 pm each day.

So, we highly recommend planning your time carefully if you’re planning to visit to avoid missing out!

26 Arthur Baker Place, Redwoodtown, Blenheim 7201

7. Have a ball at the beach!

Is there anything better than a day at the beach when the sun’s shining? We don’t think so!

Having a beach day is one of the easiest (and cheapest!) things to do in Blenheim, and we suggest heading to Whites Bay.

It’s approximately 25 minutes from the city centre, but it’s worth the trek as it’s just so beautiful.

From the perfectly white sands to the crashing waves and rock pools, it truly has something for everyone.

If you want to extend your stay, there’s a wonderful campground nearby (Whites Bay Campsite!) with decent amenities.

This includes flush toilets and showers – phew!

Just remember to grab a DOC Campsite Pass and you’ll be good to go.

Port Underwood Road, Waikawa 7281

The beautiful Whites Bay with the waves crashing down the rocky portion of the shore and a long white sandy beach up ahead.
Photo: Jason Green.

8. Go on a cruise around The Marlborough Sounds

The Marlborough Sounds are seriously stunning, which is why we just had to include a cruise on our list of things to do in Blenheim!

Companies like Cougar Line offer basic cruises around the Sounds, but you can also choose options that include lunches and overnight stays.

Talk about living in the lap of luxury.

If you want to combine the area’s glorious wines with a relaxing cruise, this wine-tasting cruise takes you through the best of Blenheim!

Whichever option you choose, make sure you pack sunscreen if you’re planning to sit on the upper decks.

Tourists riding on the top deck of Beachcomber Fun Cruises as it sails through the Marlborough Sounds.

9. Taste some incredible chocolate

If you’re not planning to visit Makana Chocolate Factory in Kerikeri, you might want to check out the location in Blenheim instead!

There are free chocolate tastings at the Makana Confections store in Marlborough, which is just a short drive from the centre of Blenheim.

We can’t get enough of their moreish chocolate caramels, but the truffles and bars are equally glorious!

Although most people stop by to purchase chocolate, you can also watch gourmet goodies being handcrafted in-store (which kids love!).

If you’re on a tight budget, you might want to take advantage of the free samples.

But trust us – you’ll struggle to walk away without buying some treats for the road!

Makana Confections, 180 Odwyers Road, Rapaura 7273

Slices of square pieces of delicious chocolates showing its visible nuts and embellished with chocolate decorating sauce on top.
Photo: Makana Confections.

10. Visit the Taylor River Reserve

To round off our bumper list of the best things to do in Blenheim, we have a trip to the Taylor River Reserve!

This is our favourite place to visit in Blenheim for relaxed hikes, and you can easily trek the distance from Riverside Park to the Taylor Dam in a single afternoon.

It’s approximately 10 km in total, so it should be manageable for most people with a couple of breaks.

Along the way, you’ll spot towering trees, native bushland, flora, and even a few New Zealand animals (if you’re lucky!).

If time isn’t an issue, you can also sit along the banks of the river or catch some trout if you have a valid fishing license!

And if you need to take a breather after all that walking, the Taylor Dam is the perfect place for wildlife watching and a picnic spread.

Ah, bliss.

We hope that this guide to the best things to do in Blenheim has been helpful

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a certified New Zealand lover, there’s always something new to find in charming spots like Blenheim!

Friends enjoying their food and wine while dining outside under a patio umbrella, surrounded by shrubs with their green leaves during a beautiful sunny day.
Photo: MarlboroughNZ.

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