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Mice Net : August 2008
new zealand pre and post in MArlborough theRe aRe plenty of places to explore pre- or post-conference in new Zealand, and Marlborough is certainly a great option. J ust a ferry or plane ride from Wellington over the Cook Strait, Marlborough is New Zealand’s largest winemaking region, and offers plenty for visitors. Located at the north-east corner of New Zealand’s South Island, Marlborough is endowed with breathtaking beauty. Stretching from the scenic Marlborough Sounds to the rugged splendour of Kaikoura, it is a destination waiting to be discovered. Visitors can choose from a wide range of recreational activities including swimming with dolphins in the Marlborough Sounds, watching whales in Kaikoura, or just relaxing at Marlborough’s world-class wineries. The region has approximately 65 wineries and 290 grape growers, and is recognised internationally for its distinctive sauvignon blanc. But according to those in the know, Marlborough wine is much more than sauvignon blanc. Within the region visitors will discover varieties including riesling, gewürztraminer, and pinot gris.Visitors to Marlborough can tour wineries at their leisure or leave it all to the experts for specialised group tours. The Wine Marlborough Festival – February 2009 - is New Zealand’s premier wine and food event and is a great time to visit. Guests at this time can experience the highly acclaimed wines of the region, indulge in the culinary delights of renowned New Zealand chefs, and be entertained with a stunning line-up of some of New Zealand’s leading performers. 124 mice.net on the water For those who enjoy time spent on the water there are plenty of great options. The Marlborough Sounds is often described as a “coastal wonderland”, with winding waterways, sheltered bays, and ancient untouched forests. Visitors can cruise, kayak, waterski, swim, fish, or sail the bays at their leisure or as part of a group. The Queen Charlotte Sound is popular for fishing expeditions, with this pursuit serviced by a number of experienced local companies. Visitors with a penchant for keeping their feet on dry land also have plenty of options including visits to formal gardens or hiking through native bushland. Stretching between the Queen Charlotte and Keneperu Sound is the Queen Charlotte Track - a 71 kilometre trail renowned for its stunning views and contrasting landscape, historical landmarks, and wonderful variety of native bush and wildlife. If it’s fine cuisine you’re after, Marlborough won’t disappoint. Spoiled for choice, restaurants have an abundance of local fare to include in their menus, complemented by any number of the fine wines that are produced from the vineyards that abound in the region’s valleys. Memorable meetings But it doesn’t all have to be play on your Marlborough experience. Marlborough’s regional centre, Blenheim, is now home to the stunning Marlborough Convention Centre, a purpose-built facility