Boating NZ - - Feature -

While the mail boat day-trip through the Sound should be on your bucket list, to see other at­trac­tions in the re­gion you should plan for a long-week­end visit. There’s a rich di­ver­sity of land-based ac­tiv­i­ties to ex­plore.

Highly-rec­om­mended is hir­ing bikes for a wine-tast­ing tour through the re­gion’s more than 20 vine­yards, all within a 10km ra­dius of Ren­wick, near Have­lock. You can’t get to all of them in a day (there’s only so much wine you can taste – and push­ing the bike home is never a good look), so se­lect a hand­ful that ap­peal. The land­scape’s flat and the rid­ing’s easy. Most vine­yards have restau­rants for a well-earned lunch stop. We used Wine Tours by Bike – based in Ren­wick (­tours­by­ run by Steven and Jo Hill – an ex­cel­lent op­er­a­tion.

For vin­tage air­craft buffs, Blen­heim’s Avi­a­tion Her­itage Cen­tre ( is a must-see. The fa­cil­ity’s di­vided into two sec­tions – WWI and Wwll. The for­mer presents a re­mark­able col­lec­tion of replica bi­planes and tri­planes – all pre­sented in ex­quis­ite, re­al­is­tic de­tail – and it in­cludes the crashed Fokker tri­plane be­long­ing to the in­fa­mous Red Baron Man­fred von Richthofen. In the Wwll sec­tion you’ll find an im­mac­u­lately-re­stored Hawker Hur­ri­cane, JU-87 Stuka, a Mark 14 Spit­fire and many oth­ers.

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