Wine Trails Map
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Sounds Connection will collect you from your accommodation anywhere in central Blenheim or central Picton, click on the map below. Just let us know where in Marlborough you’ll be staying! We also pick up from Blenheim airport, Koromiko/Picton airport, the Interislander and Bluebridge ferry terminals, and the train stations. For all these Marlborough locations listed, your pick-up is at no extra cost! Staying somewhere else in Marlborough? Talk to us, we’ll see what we can do!
Pick Up Map
Sounds Connection will gladly collect you from your accommodation anywhere in central Picton, the Picton / Koromiko airport, ferry terminal and train station – all included in the price of your tour!.
Our wine tours cost from $69 per person for a Half Day Tour, to $229 per person for a Gourmet Wine Experience. See our tours for full details or contact us for a personalised tour.
Marlborough is one of the world’s finest wine-producing regions with over 140 registered wineries producing award-winning wines to try, and buy. Not all are open to visitors, or open year-round. You might like to take a look at Wine Marlborough’s interactive map (of Marlborough wineries with Cellar Doors) here too – plenty of inspiration, should you need any more.
Sounds Connection works closely with a wide range of top Marlborough wineries – large and small, old and new. We can tailor the tour to accommodate your tastes or your favourite wineries – or we can take the pressure off and decide for you!
The first grapes were planted by Scotsman David Herd in 1873 but it was not until 1973 that the first commercial planting began. Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc first hit the headlines in the late 1980s – and now Marlborough produces around 3/4 of New Zealand’s wine.
Sauvignon Blanc is still the variety Marlborough is best known for, and amounts to around 85% of the wine coming from the region. Pinot Noir is considered by many to be a rising star, and there are also a wide range of excellent Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Riesling wines to try. There are a number of interesting new or more niche varieties becoming available too – from Grüner Veltliner (affectionately known as “Gru Vee”) to Viognier and more. In short, something for every taste. If you have a particular favourite, let us know when you’re booking and we can discuss an itinerary to suit.
We are proud to say that 94% or more of New Zealand’s producing vineyard area is now Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ) certified, meaning that wines are produced under sustainable, independently audited environmental programmes. If you’re interested in organic and biodynamics, we work closely with a number of wineries you might like to visit. For example Seresin Estate’s organic/biodynamic winery, Te Whare Ra (where the vineyard is managed with a combination of organic and biodynamic practices and all the fruit is hand-picked and hand-sorted), and organic wineries such as Huia Vineyards, Rock Ferry Wines, Hans Herzog, to name a few! Just let us know when you’re booking and we can discuss an itinerary to suit.
Definitely! Sounds Connection can collect you and drop you off at the airport, ferry terminal or your accommodation and take you on one of our Half Day Wine Tours – we can customise a tour to suit you and whatever time you have available.
The annual Marlborough Wine Festival is one not to miss! New Zealand’s first and longest running wine festival, it is held in early February in one of the region’s oldest vineyards, Brancott Vineyard, and is a celebration of world-class wine and the very best of local cuisine. Demonstrations by celebrity chefs, tutorials by acclaimed local winemakers, a fashion competition, and music by New Zealand’s best make it a great event to plan a weekend or longer break around. You might even like to create your own little event around special days on the wine calendar. For example, for International Sauvignon Blanc Day (in May) we can take you on a special tour to taste the flagship ‘Savvy’ at some of our region’s beautiful wineries.
Bring your camera – there are photo opportunities everywhere you look! You may wish to bring a sunhat and sunscreen too, for example in case you want to eat al fresco at some point. Although our wineries are world class, they are not pretentious, so smart casual attire is fine – though if you want to wear a tuxedo, by all means, feel free!
Our local and experienced guides have a broad range of knowledge about the Marlborough wine area and the wineries within it. From the number of wineries that Marlborough has, to how red wine and white wine is made – and so much more!
The area that your tour will cover may vary depending on your selected tour. It may include the Koromiko Valley, the Wairau Plains (home to the majority of Marlborough’s wineries), Picton, Blenheim, Havelock and Queen Charlotte Drive
Absolutely! Marlborough is lucky to have not only so many amazing wineries but also a couple of great local breweries. We are more than happy to include a visit to a brewery on our Private Tour options or ask your guide if it can be included on your tour. Get in touch with us and we can organise a great craft brewery experience for you.
Sounds Connection offers a 3 hour fishing trip in the idyllic Inner Queen Charlotte Sound, a 5 hour trip which ventures further into the Queen Charlotte, or for something more adventurous try our 8 hour full day fishing trip with a stop at one of the great Sounds resorts for lunch, if you fancy. We can also tailor trips to suit your specific group, interests and needs. Talk to us today to get the trip that’s right for you.
Our fishing charters usually depart out of Picton. Our Fishing Charter depart from Picton Commercial Wharf – located on the Picton waterfront (first jetty, first vessel). The name of our vessel is “MV TORY”. If you’re staying in the Queen Charlotte Sounds and wish to be collected from your resort, holiday home or family bach – that’s not a problem! Sounds Connection can collect you from one of the many resorts or holiday homes in the Queen Charlotte Sound. Please note additional charges may apply.
To give you an idea, our charters cost from $495 for up to 6 passengers on a 3 hour trip fishing in the inner Queen Charlotte Sound. We offer a vast range of options, depending on how long you want to go for, your group’s level of experience, your budget and so on. Please get in touch with us and we can have a chat about what you’re interested in – and we can tailor a package to suit.
Yes, we provide everything! This includes the experienced skipper, tackle, rods, bait, tea and coffee. Bring your own lunch with you or we can arrange to stop at one of the great Sounds resorts for a bite, if you’re on one of our longer charters.
Bring a camera for the fantastic photo opportunities! Sunhat, sunscreen and a light jacket to ward off any sea breezes are also important.
All charters are suitable for 1–12 passengers although larger vessels are available on request.
The fish species we most commonly land include blue cod, snapper, terakihi, kingfish, butterfish, hapuku, skate, and perch. Please note that at certain times of the year blue cod is catch and release only. We can also accommodate your wish to try for shellfish (such as scallops) at certain times of the year. Get in touch to organise your dream fishing trip, and let us know if there’s something in particular you’re after. Obviously we can’t pre-order the fish to jump on your line, but we can let you know if it’s the right season to catch and keep blue cod, or whether it might be possible to come home with some shellfish, for example.
The main regulations you need to know about fishing for blue cod in the Marlborough Sounds are:
We make it a priority to remain familiar with all relevant regulations, and abide by them – so we can help you with any questions you may have about your specific situation. You can also find out more on the Ministry for Primary Industries website.
You can arrive in Marlborough by plane, ferry, car or train and Sounds Connection will collect you from the ferry terminal, airport, train station or from your accommodation in Picton or Blenheim – all included in the price of your tour. Marlborough Regional Airport is a five minute drive to Blenheim or a 25 minute drive to Picton – and a 20 minute flight from Wellington. You can also fly into Koromiko airport, close to Picton. The ferry journey from Wellington to Picton across the Cook Strait and through the picturesque Marlborough Sounds takes approximately three hours. Drive yourself to Marlborough via the Pacific coastline from Kaikoura (approximately 2 hours to Picton), or come over the hill from Nelson and take the scenic Queen Charlotte Drive to Picton (approximately 2 hours). The Coastal Pacific train travels from Christchurch to Blenheim and Picton over the summer months, taking in the glorious coastline. See Destination Marlborough Getting Here for more information.
You’re spoiled for choice in Marlborough! There are a great selection of motels, hotels, B&Bs, backpackers and lodges and resorts. And if you’re staying anywhere in central Blenheim or Picton we can pick you up as part of a wine tour! A good place to find out more about your accommodation options is on the Destination Marlborough site.
Marlborough offers a huge range of activities for families, groups and the independent traveller – there really is an adventure for everyone. Whether you want to spend time fishing, strolling on the breathtakingly beautiful Queen Charlotte Track, touring the world-class wineries, or cruising in the Queen Charlotte Sound, it’s all right here. In fact, it’s so good you may never want to leave! You can also visit the celebrated Omaka Aviation Heritage Museum, local museums and galleries, the weekly Marlborough Farmers’ Market, or follow the Art and Craft trail, bike your way around the spectacular Marlborough tracks, and dine in a variety of wonderful restaurants, among many other things.
Where do we start … the iconic Wine Festival in February, the Havelock Mussel Festival in March, the biennial Omaka Classic Fighters Airshow at Easter, the Forrest Grape Ride in April, the new and buzzing Book Festival in July, Nelmac Garden Marlborough in November. It’s always a #brilliant time to come to Marlborough.
You will need to pay in full at the time of confirming your booking unless by prior arrangement with us.
Yes, you will receive a refund if you cancel your booking, but we may have to charge a fee unless otherwise agreed with us. Unfortunately we are unable to refund any cancellations made within 48 hours of departure.
Yes, all our rates on our website are retail and include New Zealand Goods and Services Tax (GST). All rates are quoted in New Zealand dollars and are valid as at December 2014.
Special packages will be offered at certain times, so please contact us for updates of what’s currently available. Or you can check out deals on our tours page here. Of course, if you’re looking for a special customised tour, we can help at any time – just get in touch to let us know what you’d like.
You can book online easily via our website – just head on over to our tours page. You can also give us a call on 03 573 8843 or free phone 0800PICTON (0800 742 866) for calls within New Zealand. If you’re calling from overseas the number is +643 573 8843. Or, if you’d rather, you can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. And, of course, feel free to pop in and see us at our offices on 94 Wellington Street, Picton 7220.
Sounds Connection has been operating since 1993 and is privately owned by Marlborough locals Mark and Maria Baxter.