Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand


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Marlborough

Marlborough is a region, located in the top north-eastern corner of the South Island of New Zealand. Its boundaries include the mighty Pacific Ocean on the east, the Canterbury Region and Kaikura to the south, and the Nelson Region on the west. The south and the west of the region is mostly mountainous. The Kaikoura Ranges are at the northern-most end of the Southern Alps Ranges. In the centre are the plains slowly rising into the valley of the Wairau River, with Marlborough's main town Blenheim situated in its centre. To the north are the spectacular Marlborough sounds and Picton, the South Islands terminal for the Interisland Ferries, crossing the Cook Straight to link the North and South Islands of New Zealand.

Up to 900 Years ago, the Marlborough Region was first visited by small groups of the Wataha Maori tribe. Captain James Cook was then in 1770 the first European to explore the area. Half a century later European whalers co-existed with the local Maori population. In 1840 Captain Arthur Wakefield and the New Zealand Company arrived to start the settlement of Nelson. After a few years of turmoil some of the settlers drifted west. In 1859 Marlborough was declared a Province. There was a short lived gold rush in the region in the 1860s. After that the pastoralists moved in with their beef and sheep, and developed stations that rivalled those of neighbouring Canterbury.

Today Marlborough's main industries are horticulture, forestry, viticulture and marine farming. The north of the South Island gets the most sunshine hours in New Zealand, and together with the fertile soils of the Wairau plains, makes for the perfect ingredients to grow wine grapes.

The activities in Marlborough are enjoyable and abundant. This is the perfect place to relax! World renowned wines of the Marlborough Region are internationally acclaimed. The cuisine to indulge yourself in, while basking in the endless sunshine. Or get active and participate in one of the many walks the region offers. For example tackle the world famous 67km long Queen Charlotte Track. Also there is kayaking and boat cruises in the Sounds and last but not least: Whale Watching in Kaikoura!

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