With a population in excess of 23,000, Blenheim is Marlborough's largest town. Situated at the junction of State Highway 1 and State Highway 6, Blenheim is the region's economic centre.

The Forum in Market Square is the heart of Bleheim's business district and features an ornate rotunda and a wide piazza where locals gather to talk and enjoy Marlborough's abundant sunshine. In keeping with its role as a holiday destination, Blenheim's many parks and gardens lend a festive air to the town. Pollard Park and Waterlea Gardens have attractive flower displays and Seymour Square features an historic monument and multi-coloured fountain.

Blenheim's main theatres, the Marlborough Centre and the Boathouse Theatre, are the principle venues for culture and entertainment in the region and the Marlborough Arts Society Gallery and Millennium Art Gallery attract exhibitions from artists throughout the region and beyond.

The township's restaurants and café's cater for a wide range of budgets and tastes - from "kiwi cuisine" and Mediterranean fare, through to Indian, Thai and Chinese. And most of these eateries use local produce served in imaginative and delightful ways.

For the visitor wishing to stay a few days, a wide range of accommodation is available in and around Blenheim from luxurious boutique hotels, lodges and bed-and-breakfasts, through to motor camps and backpacker hostels.

Wairau
The Wairau Plain is bounded to the north by the Richmond Range and to the south by the Whither Hills. The Wairau River winds across the fertile floodplain, emptying into Cloudy Bay. Much of the region's - and New Zealand's - flourishing wine industry is based on the Wairau Plain, where some of the best Sauvignon Blanc grapes in the world are grown by a number of internationally renowned wine companies. Many of the wineries offer wine tasting as well as lunch and dinner, and are a "must see" while in the area.
It's a Fact...
THE MIKHAIL LERMONTOV
On 16 February, 1986, the Mikhail Lermontov left Picton piloted by the harbour master. The pilot made the decision to take the ship through a dangerous passage at Cape Jackson, where it struck rocks below the waterline on the port side. After beaching the ship, water-tight doors were breached and water gushed into the ship. One crew member died and some passengers were injured. The ship rests where it sank, lying on its port side.
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