Car Rental Blenheim Airport
You’ve arrived at Marlborough Airport, just a quick 10-minute drive from the centre of Blenheim – the main hub of New Zealand’s famed grape-growing region. The weather will most likely be mild and sunny when you land: Blenheim forecasts bucket-loads of sunshine (over 2,200 hours annually) and little rain to speak of. Fringed by forested hills and verdant pastoral plains, Blenheim provides the perfect base to explore this beautiful pocket of the world.
The Marlborough region, in the South Island’s north-east, is bursting with vineyards and produces the bulk of the country’s world-class wines. While many award-winning varietals are grown here, including chardonnay and pinot gris, the sauvignon blanc is regarded as Marlborough’s premium drop; and more recently, hops have also sprung up on the drinks list. While a hire car is a great way to discover the best of Blenheim, get behind the wheel with care as you navigate the country roads.
A tasting tour is recommended if you want to sample the wares, while cycling is another easy mode to get to the abundance of wineries and 37 cellar doors. Biking the 6km Golden Ride is a brilliant way to do the wine trail, breathe lungful of fresh air and see fantastic scenery. Stop off at the tranquil lakeside landscapes of Vines Village on route, where you can stay and play, or visit the shops, bars and eateries on site.
When you’ve hit on a flavour to suit your taste, pair it up with a platter or lunch al fresco. Unwind in the idyllic surrounds, then repeat at another establishment the next day. Not surprisingly, the gourmet scene in Blenheim is equally excellent. From cuisine art to pub grub, the restaurants, cafes, artisan food outlets and local Marlborough Farmers’ Market offer plenty to savour for every taste and budget.
Besides the fabulous food culture and viticulture that Marlborough is renowned for, Blenheim offers a gateway to the great outdoors, with spectacular scenery and the opportunity to get close to New Zealand’s unique wildlife and habitats. For nature at its most exhilarating, Marlborough Sounds is a must. Aviation enthusiasts will also rate Blenheim as a little slice of heaven, with rare collections and exciting exhibitions to transport visitors to an earlier era. There’s so much more to Blenheim than first meets the eye, plus a wealth of passions to be indulged within an easy drive of Marlborough Airport.
Take off from the airport in your hire car and see Blenheim’s charm
Acclaimed local parks and gardens in Blenheim offer a welcome opportunity to relax and take things at a gentler pace. The stunning green spaces of Pollard Park make this multi-hectare haven a favourite for both locals and visitors. With scented gardens, woodlands, a meandering stream, golf course and children’s playground, the park is a lovely environment for a shady picnic or to stroll and explore.
The Upton Oaks Garden, honoured as a Garden of National Significance, unfolds harmoniously as a formal 17th century knot-style design. A restored Victorian villa overlooks the property and a guest cottage is available for stays.
If aviation history sparks an avid interest, the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre is just a few minutes from the airport. This ‘living museum’ even has flyable aircraft available for joy flights. The two major draw cards are ‘Dangerous Skies’, a dynamic exhibition of fighter aircraft from the World Wars; and Peter Jackson’s (‘Lord of the Rings’) private collection of Great War planes and historical artefacts, brought to life in immersive dioramas courtesy of his Weta Workshop. The biennial Omaka Airshow, held over the Easter weekend, displays vintage and rare military planes from New Zealand and abroad. Come for the aerobatics, theatrics and precision flying. Look for delicious eats and Marlborough wines, plus there’s a playground for the kids.
Discover the magnificence of Marlborough’s natural side in your hire car
Explore the splendour of Marlborough Sounds, with its 1,500 kilometres of intricate coastline harbouring islands, sandy beaches and bays, sheltered coves and inlets, with unforgettable views of superb beauty. Whether your experience involves driving, biking, hiking, cruising, ferrying or kayaking – start your journey of discovery in Picton. This scenic seaside town is just a 20-minute drive from Blenheim, or add another ten from Marlborough Airport. Guided or self-style adventures in the area are both possible. There’s also an aquarium and floating maritime museum at the port.
Wend your way through the must-see attractions of the sounds, including the main stunners of Queen Charlotte, Kenepuru and Pelorus Sounds. For outdoorsy types, if you have time for just one attraction, it would have to be the popular Queen Charlotte Track: a 72-kilometre trail to take on foot or mountain bike. Set up camp along the way in breathtaking landscapes. For wildlife lovers, we recommend the Lochmara Lodge, Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary and Motuara Island. Paddle or take a boat or water-taxi to these serene refuges for preservation and restoration, only accessible by water. You’ll find countless ways to enrich yourself around Blenheim, with many adventures to enjoy with the ease of your hire car.