24 hours in Marlborough
9 am at Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre
You don’t have to be a history buff to enjoy Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, where human stories of the French, British, German, Australian and New Zealand pilots will capture your imagination and your heart. The rare memorabilia ranges from beautifully crafted ‘trench art’ through to personal items belonging to the famous Red Baron himself.
The displays created by Sir Peter Jackson’s Wingnut Films and Weta Workshop look more like movie sets and the collection comprises some of the world’s rarest World War 1 aircraft and aviation memorabilia. The World War 2 exhibition, Dangerous Skies is set to open in November and will tell the story of WWII aviation across battle grounds, featuring stories of aviators and aircraft.
10 am Enjoy a cellar door crawl
After exploring the centre, take a scenic drive around the wineries where you will find more than 30 cellar doors including Gieson, Brancott Estate, Jackson Estate, Nautilus, Saint Clair, Wairau River and Wither Hills.
Noon Cruise onboard Odyssea
Enjoy a scheduled or chartered adventure around the Sounds with Seafood Odyssea. Relax and enjoy the stunning Marlborough Sounds with the exclusive Seafood Odyssea Cruise, featuring Regal salmon, Cloudy Bay clams and green shell mussels with Marlborough sauvignon blanc for the definitive wine and food pairing.
While onboard the Odyssea, guests can enjoy the natural beauty of the Queen Charlotte Sound while cruising aboard a luxury launch that departs from Picton Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Sunday. Cruise near a Marlborough salmon farm, learn about aquaculture in the Marlborough Sounds and take in the picturesque scenery. Visitors to the region can also board the cruise launch, MV Tarquin, for a half-day or full-day cruise of the Marlborough Sounds.
3 pm An afternoon tipple
The Wine Station is located in a 1913 Heritage building and has more than 80 different Marlborough wines on offer, many that don’t have a cellar door and may be lesser known. Visitors to The Wine Station will use a pre-loaded charge card to select a tasting, a half glass or full glass. Wine is also available for sale by the bottle and staff can arrange for it to be delivered to your home.
5 pm Sundowner at the Scotch Wine Bar
After a visit to the Millenium Public Art Gallery, head to the nearby Scotch Wine Bar, which is part-restaurant and part wine boutique. The venue offers a 500 wine bottle list so there is plenty for punters to choose from. The wine-by-the-glass options are updated every week along with the dinner menu. The Scotch Wine Bar is a top spot for a sundowner and light bar snacks such as bao or beef tartare.
6 pm Dinner at Harvest
Fresh, seasonal and locally sourced produce is what inspires head chef Sam Webb (formerly of Stoke Bar & Kitchen, Melbourne; Gills Diner, Melbourne; The Works, Gisborne, NZ). Here, at Harvest Restaurant the à la carte menu is complemented by a selection of wines with a focus on New Zealand.
Open all-year-round for both lunch and dinner, Harvest offers some of Marlborough’s finest food for both lodge guests and visiting diners, in one of the most beautiful locations. For those who prefer to observe the dynamics of a sleek kitchen team in action, you can request to be seated at the Chef’s Bench where you’ll enjoy your meal while engaging directly with the chefs.
8 pm Check in to your room at The Marlborough Lodge
You can’t go past Marlborough’s only luxury lodge, where the room rate includes dinner at Harvest for two plus pre-dinner drinks, canapes and breakfast. The Lodge sits amid 6.47 ha of beautifully landscaped gardens, which feature more than 300 trees and 800 shrubs, an orchard, kitchen garden, picturesque creek as well as a striking wall of lavender, which frames the lodge.
The main lodge building is a 1901 convent that has been converted and renovated to include 10 contemporary suites and a restaurant, Harvest. The lodge was launched in two stages, opening its doors in October 2016 before completing the most recent phase of renovations late 2017.