At the far northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island is where you’ll find Abel Tasman National Park and Malborough, a region of stunning natural beauty, boasting golden beaches, granite cliffs, wineries, and the famous Great Walk. A luxury holiday to the Malborough Region or Abel Tasman National Park offers fine dining, hiking, and relaxation.
Abel Tasman National Park, named after the 17th-century Dutch merchant Abel Janszoon Tasman, encompasses the granite mountain range that lies beyond Kahurangi National Park. While there is plenty to see and do here, the park is most famous for the Abel Tasman Coastal Track, a multi-day hike that winds its way along white sandy beaches and past crystal clear bays. You may even see New Zealand wildlife like little blue penguins, fur seal colonies or bottlenose dolphins.
Head east to the nearby Marlborough region, and explore New Zealand’s celebrated largest producing areas. You can experience the region’s wine industry by visiting vineyards, and touring the wineries - there’s more than 30 cellar doors to choose from. Just don't forget to try the internationally-renowned Sauvignon Blanc. Guided tours are available or you can rent a bike and explore them at your leisure. Popular vineyards include Framingham Wines, Yealand Estate Winery, and Saint Clair Family Estate.
Marlborough has far more to offer than just fine wine. The region also boasts stunning scenery, most notably Marlborough Sound, an extensive network of sea-drowned valleys. You can rent a boat to explore hidden coves and come face-to-face with local fauna including the rare Rowi kiwi, tuatara, and weka. You can even swim with five different species of dolphins on special guided tours.
The Marlborough region is a fantastic year-round destination. Remember that New Zealand is in the Southern Hemisphere so summer ranges from November to February while winter occurs between June and August. In summer, the region has plenty of sunny days with average temperatures around 19 degrees Celsius.
Winter brings colder temperatures, at -2 degrees Celsius with a chance of snow. The harvest season happens between February and May so this is a great time to see the vineyards at their best.
British citizens do not need a visa to enter New Zealand for up to six months. Find out more information about visas and general travel advice at GOV.UK.
At your luxury hotel in the Marlborough region, you’ll find local as well as international dishes. In New Zealand, most menus feature locally-sourced ingredients. There’s also plenty of fresh seafood on offer including crayfish, green-lipped mussels, kina (sea urchins), pauna (sea snail), and white bait. Meat lovers will particularly enjoy New Zealand lamb.
Sampling the local Marlborough wine is an essential part of any trip in this region. The most popular varieties are Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay, try bottles from celebrated vineyards like Forrest Wines and Oyster Bay.