If you’re looking for the ultimate romantic getaway, here’s three little words for you. No, not those ones. We’re talking about sunshine, scenery and Sauvignon. It’s the perfect recipe for a romantic weekend away - and you’ll find all the ingredients in the beautiful Marlborough region. Some call it the secret garden of New Zealand, others are lucky enough to call it home, but for a weekend, you can call it paradise.
Marlborough is just a short 30-minute drive from the Picton Ferry Terminal, the region includes small towns such as Renwick, Wairua, Havelock, and of course, the beautiful town of Blenheim. It’s home to breathtaking scenery, some of New Zealand’s finest vineyards and wineries and seafood that’s coveted around the world. At every turn, you’ll find date-worthy galleries, gardens ideal for romantic strolls and markets full of potential gifts, all nestled into a landscape of hills, valleys, oceans and forests.
But with so much to see and even more to sample, it’s hard to know where to begin. So to save you some time, we’ve hand-picked a selection of the most romantic activities for couples. Enjoy – and you’re welcome.
Pick your perfect Marlborough Accommodation
First up in planning your romantic getaway is choosing a place to stay. Well, you’re in luck, because Marlborough accommodation is some of the most stunning and unique in New Zealand. From luxury lodges, boutique hotels and stunning resorts, to cosy cottages, quaint B&Bs and even a five-star Chateau, the perfect place is waiting for the two of you to discover.
Escape to Picton Boutique Hotel
Hopping off the Interislander and ready for a glass of something fancy? Escape To Picton is a stone’s throw from the Interislander Picton Ferry Terminal - where guests are welcomed with a glass of champagne. Downstairs, the restaurant serves up world-class dishes with locally-sourced produce. Upstairs, each of the three suites is decorated with handcrafted furniture and beautiful finishings.
Hopewell Lodge Marlborough Sounds
For a getaway with an emphasis on the ‘away’, Hopewell Lodge offers spectacular views over the turquoise waters of the Kenepuru Sounds. Hidden away from the world, you can arrive by water taxi or car, then laze about on the secluded beach, enjoy a massage for two, wander or cycle the trails, hand-pick fresh shellfish, or cuddle up as you watch the local glow worms.
Bay of Many Coves Resort
If you’re looking for a touch of luxury, look no further than the Bay of Many Coves. The private, peaceful eco-lodge offers five-star accommodation in the heart of the Marlborough Sounds. You’ll enjoy incredible views over a bay where Bottlenose dolphins play, a fine dining restaurant, stunning apartments with breathtaking views and a relaxed ambience.
Laurella Cottage Blenheim
This beautifully restored 1850s cottage is about as unique as Marlborough accommodation comes. Nestled in the grounds of a stunning national garden, Blenheim’s self-contained Laurella Cottage offers views of the garden from every room, Victorian-inspired furnishings, as well as a private courtyard where you can enjoy alfresco dining and a glass of Marlborough wine.
Marlborough: Sights and Sounds
Marlborough wineries are famous the world over, but the magic of this stunning region goes far beyond the vines. As one of the sunniest and most scenic spots in New Zealand, it’s an idyllic place to escape the noise and experience nature with your other half. It’s also home to some of the world’s best seafood - and one very famous aphrodisiac in particular. Yes, in the romance game, Marlborough comes out top every time - and here are some of the things that make it so special.
Marlborough Farmers’ Market
For a gentle start to the day, head into Blenheim for the Marlborough Farmers’ Market and wander hand in hand through the stalls of fresh local produce, stopping for a sample or two. You’ll find everything from cheese, bread and vegetables, to wild game, olives and preserves - and it’s all produced right here in wine country. The market is on every Sunday in Blenheim from 9 am-noon.
Picnic at Governors Bay
If you like the idea of a secluded picnic on one of the region’s most stunning beaches, then Governors Bay is your destination. Pack up your picnic - a bottle of wine recommended - and take the short drive from the Interislander Picton Ferry Terminal. From there, a beautiful 15-minute walk through a scenic reserve takes you to a white sandy beach, where chances are, you’ll find yourselves alone.
Seafood Odyssea Cruise
If you’re looking for a taste of the Sounds, you’re in the right place. Head back to Picton and take to the waters on the exclusive Seafood Odyssey. As you cruise on the luxury launch, you will be served Regal salmon, Cloudy Bay clams and Greenshell mussels, paired with a glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, naturally. The cruise departs from Picton near the Interislander ferry terminal, Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Sunday.