Planes, Wines, and Chocolates in Marlborough
Picton, New Zealand
- Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre: Tour this WWI aviation museum spearheaded by filmmaker Peter Jackson, and if you're daring, fly in a vintage WWI aircraft.
- The Vines Village: Peruse fine crafts, food, and wine from the area at this artisan center set amidst the "Golden Mile," one of New Zealand's best wine trails.
- Spy Valley Vineyard with lunch: Savor award-winning wines, and lunch, at this vineyard set amongst the ancient terrace of the Omaka River.
- Makana Boutique Chocolate Factory: Tour the factory, watch chocolatiers working their sweet magic, and sample handmade confections.
About This Picton Tour
Imagine yourself in space, looking down on all the beauty and blemishes of planet Earth. What would you find most memorable? Where would you want to go when your feet were planted back on terra firma?
For Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, one-time commander of the International Space Station, it was the Marlborough wine region of New Zealand. Hadfield, who posted tweets from the space station and has over a million Twitter followers, said that he found the coalescing images of that area – seen from space – to be very interesting, particularly at the north end of the South Island.
Believed to be the birthplace of New Zealand's wine scene, Marlborough's mountain peaks and valleys are well suited for viticulture with a dry climate and fertile soil. It's home to more than 60 percent of New Zealand's vineyards and is particularly famous for its Sauvignon blanc grape variety. Upon returning from his mission, Hadfield did indeed visit Marlborough and said it's "even more beautiful down here on the surface."
Discover the beauty of Marlborough yourself on this GoBe excursion. The tour includes a stop at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Center, The Vines Village artisan center, Spy Valley Vineyards (including lunch), and Makana Boutique Chocolate Factory. You may not see it from space, but you'll surely think it's "far out!"
Spy in the sky at Waihopai
How is infamous NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden connected to New Zealand's picturesque Marlborough wine region? It was Snowden who revealed that the alien-like station at Waihopai Base was actually a listening station used to intercept surveillance data from satellites in the region. You may see the white sphere-shaped station surrounded by razor wire on the outskirts of Blenheim…but don't tell anybody if you do.
Please exit the gangway area or go to the end of the tender pier drop-off to meet your guide. Look for our displayed logo sign. Staying at a hotel? Be sure to advise the GoBe Crew so we can meet you in the lobby.
Cruise ship travelers: You may purchase wine and take it to the ship but check the ship's individual policy - you may be able to take it to your cabin or you may have security hold it to be returned to you at the end of the cruise.
Must be able to walk approximately 0.25 mile over varying terrain, inclines and steps.
Cultural, Family Friendly, Food & Wine, Shopping
Beverages - Wine Tasting
Lunch - Local Favorites
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated mild. To participate fully, you may be required to walk over primarily even surfaces at a leisurely pace. You may encounter a limited number of steps, cobblestones, or uneven surfaces, and you may have to stand for extended periods of time.
Suitable for all ages but you must be 21 years of age and have valid ID to prove your age if you wish to taste wine.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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