The Wairau valley extends from Cloudy Bay to almost as far as St Arnauds in Nelson Lakes, about an hour drive southwest from Blenheim down State Highway 63. The Richmond Range on the north side of the valley provides a dramatic backdrop.
Vineyards, many with attached wineries, dominate land use along much of the accessible valley floor, although there are still a few paddocks with livestock. Blenheim, on the south side of the river plain, also has a number of good cafes and restaurants, as you would expect in a wine and food oriented region.
It’s easy to spend a day or so trying out some wines, by car or on a bike. Autumn is especially pretty when the vines turn golden.