After spending a cold and rainy two days hiking the Tongariro Northern Circuit, we immediately headed to warm and sunny Martinborough. It was a scenic drive there (quite honestly, pretty much every drive in this country is a scenic one). We drove through beautiful mountains, alongside roaring steams, and passed through farmlands full of sheep.

another scenic drive

yes, it’s true – there are more sheep than people in new zealand

man, they are cute!

Martinborough is a charming small town known for its boutique wineries that are relatively small and typically family-owned. We stayed at a campsite on the outskirts of town. It had grapevine views and was within walking distance of 14 wineries.

martinborough’s main street

it was only fitting to see two classic cars in front of this charming hotel


It was late afternoon on Valentine’s Day when we arrived in Martinborough. We basked in the late day sun and treated ourselves to a dinner out. That night, we watched a beautiful sunset from the campsite.

taking in the sunset

The following day, we set out to explore the vineyards. We sampled wines at three different vineyards with open cellar doors:

  • Martinborough Vineyards: Home of the best Pinot Noir in the World (April 2011).
  • Schubert Wines: Started by a German couple who traveled the world searching for the perfect place to fulfill their dream of having their own vineyard.
  • Ata Rangi: The brochure included this quote from a wine magazine, “Not to drop by Ata Rangi on a visit to Martinborough would be akin to visiting the Louvre and missing the Mona Lisa.” I can’t whether or not this is really true as we only visited a few vineyards, but the place was quite nice and we enjoyed the wine.

    martinborough’s streets are lined with vineyards 

    martinborough vineyard

    schubert wines

    schubert wines cellar door

    from whites to reds to a dessert wine

    ata rangi (“dawn sky” or “new beginning”)

    ata rangi cellar door

We had a a nice, sunny, and relaxing time in Martinborough. Next destination: Wellington (our last stop on the North Island).

4 responses to “Martinborough

  1. These photos more match the vision I have of NZ countryside. Glad to see there are towns there. I was beginning to wonder. 🙂 Some wine, a nice Valentine’s Day dinner. Life looks good there.

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