The city of Nelson (named in honour of Admiral Horatio Nelson following his defeat of both the French and Spanish fleets after the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805) has one of the best climates of all the major New Zealand cities and is the geographical centre of New Zealand.  

We’ve visited Nelson before, but only as a day trip when we were staying in Blenheim.  It’s a very pretty little place so we decided to have a couple of nights there at the start of our Marlborough Wine Trail before moving on to Blenheim.

It’s always nice to visit one or two wineries, especially if that pleasure comes with having a lovely cheese platter under the shade of a tree on a summer’s afternoon.  Brancott Estate is the original Marlborough vineyard and has a very impressive set-up with rows of vines as far as the eye can see.  Their wines aren’t bad either!

The Marlborough region is justifiably famous for its breathtaking beauty as well as its wine. The province boasts the Marlborough Sounds, which encompass hundreds of tranquil coves and waterways ideal for sailing, kayaking, fishing and diving. The Sounds can also be explored on foot, the most notable walkway being the 71 kilometre Queen Charlotte Track.  We travelled along the magnificent winding Queen Charlotte Drive, with superb views across the Sound, until we reached the picturesque ferry port town of Picton where we would catch the Interislander ferry across the Cook Strait to the North Island of New Zealand.