Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand

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Marlborough Sounds is great for yatching and sailing
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Marlborough Sounds Go dolphin watching in Picton, Marlborough New Zealand fur seal rests on marine farm Marlborough Sounds, South Island, New Zealand Catch the ferry from Picton to Wellington

Nestled in the north-east corner of the South Island, Marlborough enjoys a high number of sunshine hours in an ever changing and diverse landscape.

It is a region of fine weather, fine scenery, fine wine and fine food. Marlborough Sounds is an immense labyrinth of deep channels, sheltered waterways and private bays, contained by clean green bush-clad hills.

In the calm, sheltered waters of the stunning Marlborough Sounds dusky dolphins, common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and Hector's dolphins can be interacted with and viewed. Whether your ambition is to view the antics of dolphins from above or to swim with wild dolphins, this is an unforgettable adventure of a lifetime.

The calm sea means no sea swell, which equals very little chance of sea sickness. There is only one dolphin swimming operator, so the experience is uncrowded and peaceful. You may also see whales, New Zealand fur seals and albatross.

The Sounds include Kenepuru, Pelorous and Queen Charlotte Sounds and Port Underwood. There are many ways the beauty of the Sounds can be appreciated.

The Queen Charlotte Track is an ideal walk to appreciate, learn about and interact with New Zealand's flora and fauna. Strung out along the tranquil shores of the Queen Charlotte Sound, you can walk or bike all or part of this world-famous track.

There are cruise and walk options and also kayaking options. Spending time on or near these crystal clear waters is an experience not to be missed. The climate in Marlborough allows for good year-round walking conditions.

The birdlife in the Sounds and on Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary is spectacular. It is an ideal place to view both sea and land birds. It is home of the very rare King Shag, which is only to be found in Marlborough. The tidal estuary of Wairau Lagoon is home to more than 90 varieties of birds.

If your idea of an awesome day is to be out on sparking clear waters in a kayak then Blenheim is the place to head to. With a water wonderland of rivers, channels and lagoons to explore and nature to get close to as you absorb the panoramic views of the valley and the misty hills you will really experience what the Marlborough region has to offer heart and soul.

The sounds are also all about fishing and mussel collecting. Havelock is home to Greenshell Mussel farming. You'll find fishing charters for deep sea and big game fishing or guides for fly, salmon and trout fishing.

There are even opportunities for inshore saltwater fishing. There's some for both the skilled fisherman and the keen amateur.

We haven't even started to tell you about the number of wonderful vineyards, restaurants and cafés found in this magnificent wine-growing region.

Why not take a wine-tasting tour through the tranquil countryside and see for yourself why the area has made such a strong name for itself in the wine industry.

And of course you can catch the interislander ferry from Picton to Wellington to visit New Zealand's capital city if you wish.

Click on the links above for accommodation or click here for activities in Marlborough, Picton or Blenheim.

Intercity Bus with free WiFi

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