It’s no surprise that “The Land of the Long White Cloud” continues to reign as a bucket list destination drawing travelers from near and far. The diversity of New Zealand’s dramatic landscapes, unique wildlife and comfortable climates attributes to the country’s growing popularity as a year-round destination.
Located at the Top of the South Island, the province of Marlborough is known for its world-famous Sauvignon Blanc as New Zealand’s largest wine-growing region with over 110 wineries and 33 cellar doors in the area. Credited as having the most sunlight hours in all of New Zealand, Marlborough is one of the sunniest regions in the country with an enviable climate and diverse topography, from valleys to vines to sheltered waterways.
More than 70% of New Zealand’s Greenshell mussels are farmed in the Marlborough Sounds, as well as the region offering an abundance of King Salmon, clams and oysters. Winter is an ideal time to explore Marlborough Sounds, with experiences like whale-watching, vineyard tours, and fresh seafood.
As one of New Zealand’s newest luxury lodges, The Marlborough Lodge is centrally located in the heart of the spectacular wine region, just minutes from the airport and 20 minutes by car to the stunning Marlborough Sounds. An ideal resting spot to explore the region, The Marlborough Lodge is a former Sisters of Mercy convent in Blenheim built in 1901, and it’s been recently beautifully restored to offer a luxury experience unlike any other. Come see the 16 acres of sprawling parkland gardens with over 239 different tree species, and vineyards with four variances of grapes.
The Marlborough gourmet province is known for its bounty of fresh, local seafood, wine, honey (7 varieties produced right in town), salt, game meat, olive oil, garlic, nuts and fruits. Due to favorable water temperatures, King/Chinook Salmon grow faster in Marlborough Sounds than anywhere else in New Zealand, more than 70% of Greenshell Mussels in the country are farmed in the Marlborough region and Cloudy Bay clams are wild harvested right in this region.
Showcasing the bounty of the local seafood, The Marlborough Lodge is offering two new food and wine experiences for lodge and non-lodge guests. For a “Taste of Cloudy Bay Surf Clams & Sauvignon Blanc”, the lodge invites foodies for a day out in the pristine Marlborough Region where guests will see, touch, cook and devour the fantastic Cloudy Bay Surf Clams and pair them with the renowned Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc. After seeing how the clams are processed and cleaned at Cloudy Bay, guests return to the lodge where Chef Sam Webb conducts an interactive cooking demonstration with tips and secrets on how best to serve the Surf Clams followed by a delicious lunch. For the more adventurous, the lodge’s new “Helicopter Reef Fishing: D’Urville Indulgence” takes guests to one of New Zealand’s best kept secrets – an island located off the northern coast of the South Island. Guests will fly by helicopter to fish off of a reef in the island, catch Blue Cod and enjoy a beach lunch location with Blue Cod sashimi, grilled Blue Cod with fresh salads, baked bread and paired with outstanding Marlborough white wines or local craft beer.
To fully appreciate the beauty and serenity of the property’s natural surroundings, guests can learn about the extensive gardens and vineyards with a tour of the grounds with the lodge’s very own head gardener. Learn about all of the different tree and bush varieties (both native and non-native), orchard fruit trees, vegetables, herbs and flowers and even visit the chicken coop where eggs are used in the daily menu. With the gentle Spring Creek running through the property, guests can spot various birds and ducks and other wildlife while taking a leisurely stroll on the grounds.