Beaches in Marlborough

Photo by Christoph Strässler


About Marlborough, NZ

Marlborough is situated on the northeastern tip of New Zealand’s South Island, near the country’s geographical centre. This region is famous for growing the most grapes and making the most wine in all of New Zealand, but it’s also known for its boating, diverse scenery, and wildlife.

On this region’s north coast are the stunning Marlborough Sounds on the Pacific Ocean. These ancient, sunken river valleys resemble fjords and are home to creatures like blue penguins, seals, dolphins, and the New Zealand king shag. Mountains, like the rugged Kaikoura Ranges, dominate Marlborough’s south. The Wairau River flows between the southern and western parts of the region, opening to wide plains in the east near Blenheim. Down the southern coast is Kaikoura, best known for its whale watching.

Marlborough is a region of forested valleys, hills, and mountains, and of course, vineyards. This region’s intricate, winding coastline spans 1500 kilometres (nearly 1000 miles) and offers plenty of sheltered, sandy bays, beautiful beaches, island getaways, inland waterways, and ocean reserves.


Swimming Water Quality in Marlborough

Marlborough District Council monitors 18 spots to swim in this region. These spots include 11 coastal beaches and 7 rivers, which are monitored from November 1 to March 20 on a weekly basis.


Water Sports and Activities in Marlborough

Marlborough is best experienced by swimming, diving, kayaking, sailing, or boating in its waters. You can also discover Marlborough by biking, hiking, or walking one of its tracks, such as the world-renowned Queen Charlotte Track. At the endpoint of the Queen Charlotte Track, cool off in the refreshing waters of the Okiwa Bay in Anakiwa, where you’ll find a small sandy beach.

Fishing is another very popular activity in Marlborough, and you can catch trout, salmon, blue cod, snapper, and even crayfish here. The Picton Foreshore is not only the perfect place to cast your line, but it’s also a great place for scuba diving down to the shipwreck of Mikhail Lermontov, a Soviet passenger cruise ship.


Weather in Marlborough

Marlborough’s climate is dry, warm, and temperate, with hot summers. The region is warmest from December to February, with temperatures ranging from 22-24 °C (72-75 °F). The water is warmest during these months as well, reaching 20 °C (68 °F).

Marlborough has a variety of breathtaking landscapes to behold and an abundance of waters to explore–and there’s no better way to see this region than from the water.

Swim Guide
is supported by
* The RBC Foundation

Swim Guide shares the best information we have at the moment you ask for it. Always obey signs at the beach or advisories from official government agencies. Stay alert and check for other swimming hazards such as dangerous currents and tides. Please report your pollution concerns so Affiliates can help keep other beach-goers safe.

Swim Guide, "Swim Drink Fish icons," and associated trademarks are owned by SWIM DRINK FISH CANADA. See Legal.

© SWIM DRINK FISH CANADA, 2011 - 2021