Marlborough's Superb Springtime Garden Festival



After collecting you all we will head to Tauranga airport to take our flight to Blenheim.  A nourishing lunch awaits at the Vines Café in the artisan hub of Marlborough.  Winner of many café and environmental awards, The Vines is a great place to relax and meet new friends on our tour together.  Adjacent to the café is Whitehaven Wines, where we will sample four of their wines on offer at their cellar door before taking some time to look around the variety of eclectic and specialty shops at the Vines Village.  Our next stop will certainly please any sweet tooths out there!  As you walk into Matakana Confections you will instantly know it will be hard to resist the free samples available.  Take a look through the large glass windows to view the delicacies being crafted and browse through a variety of specialty chocolates and temptations.  Perhaps buying one or two for the road.  After our sugary adventure we head to our home away from home – Chateau Marlborough.  Enjoy the beautiful surroundings overlooking Seymour Square Garden before meeting for dinner at the onsite restaurant.  


After an early start and a hearty breakfast at the hotel, we begin our first day of the Garden Festival exploring gardens in the Awatere Valley. We join the festival bus tour at Seymour Square and head to our first garden.  Winterhome Garden is perched high above the Pacific Ocean, in a magical Oasis of its own making.  A not-so-little garden featuring nearly ten acres of structured formal garden on park-like grounds, Winterhome is a true sanctuary for all those who wish to wander and the perfect garden to start our festival tour.  We then journey on to Barewood Garden.  Recognised as a six-star garden of international significance by the New Zealand Garden Trust, Barewood has a lush, colourful and fragrant landscape that perfectly frames the hundred-year-old homestead that is the heart of Barewood.  Paripuma is our next stop and boasts a magical, earthy beachside paradise.  Wandering through the extensive 5-star New Zealand native garden, you might come across some of the locals too, frogs, birds and geckos make their home here in this outstanding habitat for wildlife.  Ellerton is our final garden for the day.  The breath-taking views, hillside of lavender and Mediterranean plantings will certainly be discussed at the dinner table when we dine onsite at the hotel.  


Another early breakfast sets us up for a day of adventure in the charming Wairau Valley.  We once again meet the organised tour and head off for the day.  Our first stop is at the privately owned – Burnlea Garden.  It’s pristine aquifer-fed creek and impressive large trees are sure to please.  This garden is full of surprises, with exotic flowers, a sunken garden and an ancient peppertree.  Next, we move on to Longfield garden.  A taste of Italy inspires us here, with is statues, fountains and grand formal garden.  You will find mythical creatures dotted around and a stunning orangery garden room.  The clean lines, structure and symmetry are a work of art.  Our next stop is Eversley, a garden of formal structures, hedges, large trees, avenues and walks.  This garden is also full of surprises and your curiosity will draw you in to the many gaps leading you into the next area.  Enjoy strolling through a plant lover’s paradise in our next garden on the tour - Welton House.  An historic homestead is nestled amongst the vineyard, and you will love the unique topiary hedges, platforms, pergolas and oversized wooden steps that provide a focal point and inspiration.  Enjoy meandering through the productive kitchen garden, orchard and large composting operation reflecting a sustainability ethos, before returning to the bus for our final garden for the day.  Hortensia House offers a little romance.  The Monet-inspired palette of blues and hazy pastels sets a beautiful scene surrounding the crystal-clear creek that is home to resident trout.  There are over 150 hydrangeas on show here and all just as colourful as the host herself!  After a day of viewing some beautiful gardens, we return to our accommodation to prepare for dinner out at Raupo Restaurant.  This is the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine and recollect on the day’s adventures. 


Today’s garden tour takes us to the small town of Spring Creek and then on to private gardens in urban Blenheim.  Upton Oaks is our first garden of the day and has been awarded the rating of Garden of National Significance by the New Zealand Gardens Trust.  You will enjoy wandering around the herbaceous borders, rustic olive grove and large formal 17th century style knot garden divided into different colour sections.  Feel the romance that this lovely country garden offers as you meander through the perennials and roses.  Entering through the gateway you are blessed with a driveway lined with blue agapanthus that sets the scene for our next garden – Woodend Gardens.  This garden features many zones and unique hidden sanctuaries and large specimen trees that stand proud on seven acres.  Woodend is a popular wedding venue and provides a large lawn, mature cherry trees and remarkable wisteria-covered pergola, perfect for any occasion. Figtree Garden is our next garden before lunch.  Wind your way through pathways of native trees, fig plantation, native grove and many formal plantings.  Numerous roses, daylilies, camellias, and citrus and berry trees create wonderful spaces around this picturesque garden.  A quick stop for lunch before we head to Blenheim’s private urban gardens.  Starting with the lovely garden of Neil and Juliet Mackinnon, a large town garden featuring established trees that provide a canopy for hostas, hydrangeas and rhododendrons.  Our next urban garden is, Whitney Garden.  Enjoy this peaceful inviting space in the middle of suburbia with its mature trees, flowers and harmonious birdsong.  A wide range of plantings is featured including exotics, natives, and fruit and vegetables that stock the pantry with preserves.  An urban courtyard garden overlooking the Taylor River Reserve is our next stop.  Chris Fletcher’s garden has views of the Richmond Ranges and features topiary, vegepods, maples and even a small woodland area.  Our last urban garden for the day is set beneath the Wither Hills yet surrounded in native bush.  Moritaki Garden reflects life’s natural water cycle with a waterfall, stream and pond and is home to many rimu, kauri and numerous native birds.  This final garden for the day will leave you feeling tranquil and at peace before heading back to our accommodation for dinner.  


With our garden tours completed it is time to take in some of the beautiful scenery Marlborough has to offer.  After breakfast we will head to Picton wharf to board our water transport and cruise through the scenic Queen Charlotte Sound to the luxurious Furneaux Lodge.  Beautifully located at the head of Endeavour Inlet, Furneaux Lodge is surrounded in native forest, lush rolling lawns and stunning green-blue sea.  Arriving just in time for lunch we will relax on the sweeping lawn or inside the cosy restaurant in Furneaux’s historic homestead.  You won’t go hungry here, the restaurant has a well-earned reputation for serving fresh, local, seasonal cuisine.  There will be time to explore the grounds, do a short walk or simply take in the views before returning to the jetty for our cruise home.  After our relaxing day out, we join together for our final dinner onsite at our accommodation. 


Our final day in Blenheim sees us visiting Omaka Heritage Centre, providing a permanent living centre of aviation heritage, and bringing war back to life.  Our combo entry allows us to visit both the WW1 Exhibition, ‘Knights of the Sky’ and WW2 Exhibition, ‘Dangerous’ Skies.  A guided tour of the Knights of the Sky exhibition will no doubt be a highlight.  As we browse, we will be captivated by the personal collection of film director Sir Peter Jackson.  Rare memorabilia, mannequins made by Weta Workshop, original aircraft and many dramatic snapshots of history will certainly keep us entertained.  Take your time to look around and grab a bite to eat at the onsite café before meeting back and heading into Blenheim for a little retail therapy.  The lively town centre of Blenheim offers great boutique shopping, jewellery and gift stores and there’ll be time to find somewhere tasty for lunch before bringing our memorable Marlborough trip to a close. 

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6 Days

Regular Price


VIP Club Member Price - Tauranga

$3,400.00 Save $1,457.00 by joining the VIP club today!

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Next Tour Date

Wed, 02nd of Nov 2022

Important Notes for this tour

 Door to Door Pick Ups, All Transport, Accommodation, Activities, Insurance and Meals as listed

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