ST ARNAUD – BLENHEIM
Travel distance is approximately 102kms (64 miles).
Allow at least 1.30 hours drive time (not including stops).
Today is a short travel day so either choose to relax and enjoy some more time in St Arnaud or choose to leave early morning to enjoy some extra time at your next over-night stop, Blenheim – in the heart of Marlborough wine country!
After leaving St Arnaud your self-drive journey pretty much follows the Wairau River as you travel through farmland and then row upon row of vineyards, as your drive into the Marlborough town of Blenheim.
Blenheim boasts one of the best selections of dining and accommodation to be found in New Zealand! From luxury hotels, boutique accommodation, motels, bed and breakfasts, holiday parks and more, you’ll find plenty of accommodation choices to suit your requirements and budget.
There are plenty of cafes and restaurants in the town of Blenheim to choose from, as well as an enjoyable night life during the weekend. We recommend lunch or dinner at a winery for a truly memorable dining experience and the chance to taste local fare and award winning wines.
Plan to stay for 1 night in Blenheim.
Some notable stops along the route to Blenheim include:
Located a short distance from St Arnaud, Lake Rotoiti is part of the Nelson Lakes National Park and is a popular lake for trout fishing and short walks. A lovely spot for a ‘driver reviver’ break on your journey, there are plenty of scenic bush and forest walks around the lake, ranging from 15 minute Bellbird walk to 45 minute and 1 hour walks. Make sure you explore the Rotoiti Nature Recovery Project.
West of Renwick on State Highway 63, the rolling hills of the Wairau Valley is home to the excellent tramping routes of the Richmond Forest Park, while fresh-water fishing is a popular attraction for the braided, cool, clear waters of the Wairau River.
THE CORK & KEG PUB
Located in Inkerman Street, Renwick, the heart of Marlborough’s world famous wine region, this is the closest Kiwi experience you’ll have to an old English country pub. Enjoy one of the natural boutique beers or cider made on the premises or a good old Guinness on tap. Hearty blackboard menu features some great lunch and evening meals.
The main town of Marlborough is also the hub for the entire wine district. Along with many fine restaurants serving the best wine and food from the region, there is plenty of cafes and wineries to satisfy your tastebuds. Blenheim has some great shopping and a vibrant nightlife during the weekend.
From private vineyard retreats, to hotels, motels and luxury boutique bed & breakfast style lodgings, to holiday parks and backpackers, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation in the region. The town is easy to navigate on foot.
Highly recommended Blenheim tourist attractions include…
Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre – Located in Omaka, the Aviation Heritage Centre offers a unique aviation experience that brings to life rare aircraft and memorabilia in a multi-sensory experience.
River Queen Paddle-Steamer – Authentically styled paddle-steamer that cruises the beautiful Opawa River in Blenheim. Enjoy the tranquil atmosphere while watching the scenery drift past as you relax on the river. Choose from a midday cruise with a 2-course lunch or local produce platter, while the twilight cruise has a 2 course meal available. Special wine tasting packages also available.
Marlborough Wine Tours – Enjoy a totally flexible and personalised wine tour to suit your time frame and wine tastes, from 3 hours to all day, let someone else do the driving in your air-conditioned mini van or coach, while you enjoy tasting some of the best New Zealand wines. Most tours include a winery tour and lunch at a vineyard. With so many brilliant wineries and vineyards to visit, you are best to arrange a tour so you don’t miss out on the best!
Millennium Art Gallery – Located in the centre of Blenheim and features curated exhibitions of national and regional artists while the gallery shop sells fine pieces of local art and craft plus specialty magazines and cards.
Molesworth Tour – This Qualmark Endorsed sightseeing tour company offering tours in the remote high country of Molesworth Station from 1 to 4 days. Personalised 4WD tours showcasing the high country farming life in the Awatere Valley.
Dolphin Watching – Enjoy an eco-tour in the Marlborough Sounds as you experience close encounters with seabirds, seals and dolphins. There is also the opportunity to swim with dolphins.
Prenzel Distilling Company – Located in the Riverlands Estate there is also a tasting room in the Mud House complex in Rapaura Road. Taste a delicious range of schnapps, liqueurs, world class Marlborough Fruit Brandies, infused olive oils and the world’s first Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Vinegar.
Picton – Just a short drive from Blenheim and a popular place to spend an afternoon or half day. The township is nestled at the head of the Queen Charlotte Sound and is a place rich in maritime history. From cruises in the Marlborough Sound to exploring the Picton Museum and Edwin Fox, to bush walks, souvenir shopping or walking the Queen Charlotte Track, Picton is the gateway to all this and more!
New Zealand Itineraries: South Island Suggested Itineraries
Our modern self-drive travel Itineraries have routes specifically for the North Island as well as the South Island, ranging from 5 to 11 days, plus there are some travel routes that take in both the North and South Island’s. Our range of travel itineraries include information regarding travel distances and time to ensure that you can make the best of your time in New Zealand, no longer how short your visit!
- 5 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Greymouth, Greymouth – Fox Glacier, Franz Josef – Wanaka, Wanaka – Mt Cook and Mt Cook – Christchurch
- 5 Day Itinerary (route 2): Christchurch – Hanmer Springs, Hanmer Springs – St Arnuad, St Arnuad – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch
- 5 Day Itinerary (route 3): Christchurch – Mt Cook, Mt Cook – Queenstown, Queenstown – Dunedin, Dunedin – Oamaru and Oamaru – Christchurch
- 7 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin – Invercargill, Invercargill – Stewart Island, Stewart Island – Te-anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown and Queenstown – Christchurch
- 8 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Greymouth, Greymouth – Fox Glacier, Fox Glacier – Wanaka, Wanaka – Queenstown, Queenstown – Te Anau, Te Anau – Dunedin and Dunedin – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin, Dunedin – Invercragill, Invercargill – Te Anau, Te Anau Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown, Queenstown – Mt Cook, Mt Cook – Lake Tekapo and Lake Tekapo – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary (route 2): Christchurch – Omarama, Omarama – Dunedin, Dunedin, Dunedin – Te Anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown, Queenstown – Haast, Haast – Greymouth and Greymouth – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary (route 3): Christchurch – Hanmer Springs, Hanmer Springs – Greymouth, Greymouth – Nelson, Nelson – Takaka, Takaka – Motueka, Motueka – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch
- 11 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin – Te Anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Milford Sound – Queenstown, Queenstown – Wanaka, Wanaka – Franz Josef, Franz Josef – Greymouth, Greymouth – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch