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.
At the eastern end of the Wairau Plain, Blenheim is the commercial
centre of the Marlborough region and one of New Zealand's sunniest towns. With its
wide streets and spacious, country town ambiance, Blenheim offers its visitors outstanding
shopping, art galleries and attractive parks and gardens. The town also has an excellent
choice of restaurants and cafés catering to a wide range of budgets and tastes - from
"kiwi cuisine" and Mediterranean fare, through to Indian, Thai and Chinese. Many of
these eateries feature Marlborough wines and use local produce served in imaginative
and delightful ways.
Situated 10km west of Blenheim, the village of Renwick is a thriving
community with a population of about 1,750. The countryside surrounding Renwick is
rapidly changing, with the large-scale development of vineyards replacing the more
traditional farming activities. With the local economy being extremely buoyant, excellent
employment prospects exist in the wine, tourism and building industries.
Blenheim and Renwick offer an array of accommodation choices, including bed and breakfasts, motels, apartments and hotels, holiday parks and campgrounds, backpackers and hostels.
Much of Marlborough'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.