Best things to see, eat and do in Marlborough, New Zealand: Expert expat travel tips

A South Australian winemaker married to a Kiwi winemaker, Anna Flowerday and husband Jason, own Te Whare Ra, home to the oldest vines in the Marlborough region. They quit their winemaking jobs and sold their Clare Valley vineyard in 2003 to make the move, see twrwines.co.nz

SEE

The Omaka Heritage Centre is not to be missed – you don't need to be an aeronautical enthusiast or a war history buff to enjoy it, there is something there for all ages. The staging is brilliant and many of the planes have been lent by private collectors, including New Zealand movie director Peter Jackson. You need to set aside at least a couple of hours here. They also host the Classic Fighters air show every two years, which attracts thousands, see omaka.org.nz

DO

Marlborough Sound is pretty much paradise on Earth for water sports of all kinds, fishing, mountain biking, tramping and bush walks. The newly completed Link Pathway runs 42 kilometres from Picton through to Havelock. Our favourite place to stay as a family is a rented bach somewhere on the Grove Arm or at eco-conscious Mistletoe Bay Lodge, see linkpathway.nz, mistletoebay.co.nz

EAT

My local favourite restaurant is Arbour. They are champions of local produce and work with local growers and producers to really delve down into. The food is absolutely stellar and the front of house is amazing as well, plus it has an outstanding local wine list. Another favourite is the "world famous in Blenheim" Burleigh Pie shop – their pies are legendary. Also we have a great Farmers Market on Sundays, which runs year round – I joke that I'm taking my kids to "food church" if I take them there on a Sunday morning, facebook.com/theburleighnz/, arbour.co.nz , marlboroughfarmersmarket.org.nz

DRINK

My favourite drinking hole is Scotch Wine Bar or the Grovetown pub. It would be too obvious to say a glass of wine so my favourite thing besides wine is gin and we have two great local gin producers – Roots and Riot & Rose, so my tipple of choice would be a G&T, scotchbar.co.nz, facebook.com/grovetownhotel/

AVOID

Don't be caught out by thinking you can do Marlborough in just one day and that wine is the only reason for visiting. To do Marlborough properly, you really need at least two or three days here. Also don't only think about only visiting here in spring and summer. We are one of the sunniest places in New Zealand, so it's worth a visit during autumn or winter, as well.

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