New Zealand Awaits – Lesbian New Zealand Tour Operator

Author: , September 8th, 2017

New Zealand Awaits - New Zealand Lesbian Tour Operator

Periodically we’ll feature one of our tour operators here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay:

New Zealand Awaits is New Zealand’s LGBT travel specialist proudly taking care of LGBT travellers to New Zealand. As the only New Zealand company offering men’s, women’s, and LGBT small group tours, you know you’ll travel in great company. We also provide private guides for your own group (of 1+), and design itineraries for travellers who want local, expert advice for their self-drive trip.

New Zealand Awaits - New Zealand Lesbian Tour OperatorAs avid global travellers ourselves, we believe that travel can be transformative if it allows for exploration, excitement, awe, and shared connections with both nature and locals. We ensure these elements by connecting you to our trusted locals who are committed to providing authentic, “Kiwi” experiences and who are eager to welcome our LGBT clients. Most of our partners are small, local owner/operators with deep community roots and share our values of sustainability, social responsibility, and exceptional service.

New Zealand is rated one of the gay-friendliest countries by Lonely Planet. Combined with stunning scenery, world class food and wine, unique Maori culture, super-friendly people, and endless activities to choose from, it’s one of the best travel destinations in the world. Let us show you our home. Come home with us!

See the New Zealand Awaits Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in New Zealand

Marlborough is All About the Wine, Right?

Author: , January 7th, 2016


Wrong, wrong, WRONG!!

MarlboroughMarlborough is certainly famous for its sauvignon blanc. Yes we are by far the largest wine producing region in NZ and Marlborough sauvignon blanc in all its wonderful forms is lauded throughout the world. At Na Clachan we think Marlborough sauvignon blanc is so good we wrote a song and video extolling its virtues. It’s a tongue in cheek celebration of Marlborough’s best known export. (

But despite the dominance of vineyards in the Wairau and Awatere valleys let’s put the winemaking into perspective. We have about 25,000 hectares (62,500 acres) of grapes which is 250km2. Marlborough comes in at a whopping 12,484 km2 so only about 2% of Marlborough’s total land area is used for grapes. So we have plenty of space to fit in a range of activities and attractions.

Take a few days in Marlborough and enjoy the wide variety of activities and attractions it has to offer.

Let’s start with walking. With a land area that large there has to be some great walks around. True. Perhaps the best known local walk is the world famous Queen Charlotte Track ( which runs 70km from Ship Cove to Anakiwa in the Marlborough Sounds. There is a huge range of options from walking one-day sections of the track, to completing the full length with camping, backpacker accommodation or luxury lodges. Perhaps one of the great attractions of the track is the option of having your pack transported between accommodations to save you some weight on the day’s walk. Out of the high season you can also use this as a mountain bike track.

MarlboroughIf you fancy something a little more remote head out into the Richmond Ranges with its network of tracks and DOC huts ( I have spent several days in the Richmond ranges and on some occasions have not seen any other walkers. If you’re feeling energetic you can climb to the top of Richmond, Fishtail or Mt Riley where you will be rewarded with views of the Sounds, Wairau Valley and to the North Island.

Another personal favourite is the Saw Cut gorge walk with its spectacular narrow gorge cut into the limestone. It’s a surreal experience walking through here, but don’t attempt it after heavy rain.

If a gentle stroll is more your kind of walk there are plenty of 1 – 2 hour walks to chose from in both Picton and Blenheim to choose from.

MarlboroughOr perhaps messing about in boats is your thing. The Marlborough Sounds have one tenth of NZ’s total coastline with a maze of sounds, inlets and bays. You can book a fishing charter, take a Mail Boat cruise, go dolphin watching or visit Motuara Island bird sanctuary to see little blue penguins and saddlebacks.

Marlborough kayakMore the independent type? Why not hire a kayak for a few hours and explore the Queen Charlotte or Pelorus Sound? If you can’t decide between the boat and the walk, you can combine the two by taking the water taxi to a drop off on the Queen Charlotte Track, having a walk and being picked up from another bay.

Arts and crafts more your line? Marlborough is home to many artists, potters, wood workers and multi media artists. Many welcome you to their studio if you give them a call ahead of time. On Saturdays in the summer you can catch up with some of the local crafts at the Artisan’s market.

Take a stroll through Pollard Park and the botanic gardens, or visit the Marlborough Museum. The Wairau Bar on the coast east of Blenheim is the site of the earliest known Maori settlement in the South Island. There are several golf courses, a new swimming complex, squash courts, mountain bike trails, ten pin bowling, tennis courts, croquet lawns, multi-screen cinema and a theatre.

Marlborough Omaka Heritage MuseumThe Omaka Heritage Museum ( is a treasure trove of WW1 planes and artifacts in stunning settings. You don’t need to be a plane enthusiast to enjoy the stories of pilots, designers and engineers. The museum houses Sir Peter Jackson’s private collection and the tableaux are created by Weta Workshops. While we are on the subject of museums, take a visit to the Edwin Fox in Picton. She is the world’s second oldest surviving merchant sailing ship and is also the only surviving ship that transported convicts to Australia. (

Marlborough spaBut perhaps all you want to do is pamper yourself at one of the spas around Blenheim and then maybe head out for an alfresco vineyard lunch. There is plenty of choice, many with stunning vineyard settings, a focus on local produce and great wine to accompany your meal.

Marlborough wine tourOf course, if you are a wine drinker, no trip to Marlborough is complete without a wine tour.

Marlborough Na Clachan CottagesNa Clachan ( offers a range of half and full day tours with the option of a at a vineyard restaurant lunch. Your guide (Chris or Helen) will tailor the tour around the tastes and requests of the group. Its not just about tasting wine – your guide will fill you in on the history, the stories and the people who pioneered wine making in Marlborough. We may be newcomers to the wine world with a short history, but there are plenty of stories to share along with the wines. Although sauvignon blanc is the main varietal here you can expect to be tempted with chardonnay, riesling, sparkling wine, gewurztraminer, pinot gris, pinot noir and more. Pace yourself though, it can be an exhausting experience!

Article By Helen Redshaw
Visit the Na Clachan Cottages Website

Marlborough Gay Travel Resources

Featured Gay Friendly Tour Operator: New Zealand Awaits

Author: , September 5th, 2015

New Zealand Awaits

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

New Zealand Awaits is the only New Zealand and lesbian owned and operated tour company offering New Zealand tours for gay and lesbian travellers and their straight friends. Join a small group (no more than 8) of like-minded travellers for the trip of a lifetime on one of our tours. Whether you’re a foodie, a nature lover, or love active vacations, we have a tour for you. If you prefer to drive yourself, let us do all the planning to create your dream vacation, just show up and drive! Or maybe you’d prefer a private guide to take care of every last detail for you and guide you around our amazing country. Let us know how you want to experience New Zealand and we’ll make it happen.

See the New Zealand Awaits Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in New Zealand

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Marlborough’s Diva DeLuxe B&B, Blenheim, South Island, New Zealand

Author: , July 24th, 2015

Marlborough's Diva DeLuxe B&B

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Welcome to Marlborough’s Diva DeLuxe Bed and Breakfast. Marlborough is a gourmet’s paradise. This is New Zealand’s largest wine growing region and is the home of some of New Zealand’s finest wines. With award winning wineries, the Marlborough Sounds with its walking, mountain biking and Launch cruising opportunities this is a fantastic region to stop overnight or for multiple nights.

See the Marlborough’s Diva DeLuxe B&B Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Marlborough, New Zealand

Visiting Spectacular Marlborough, New Zealand

Author: , April 30th, 2010
by Lisa Bothma, Marlborough Vintner’s Hotel, Marlborough, New Zealand
Email Lisa | Visit the Marlborough Vintners Hotel Website
Visit the Purple Roofs Marlborough, New Zealand Page
Want to Get Married in New Zealand?

Marlborough, New Zealand

Marlborough, New ZealandMarlborough has spectacular scenery, glistening waterways, fine wines and food, gardens, adventure activities, recreational delights and world-class facilities along with an enjoyable sunny climate. The region encompasses Blenheim, Picton, Havelock, the breathtaking Marlborough Sounds, Wairau Valley, the Awatere Valley and the Pacific Coast.

Wine and food is a key attraction for visitors to Marlborough, and with more than 100 wineries responsible for 60% of New Zealand’s total wine production as well as great restaurants, boutique producers and amazing seafood, it’s easy to see why.

Marlborough, New ZealandThe seeds of the highly successful wine industry were sown in 1973 when Montana planted Marlborough’s first commercial vineyard in the district. Now the region has a reputation for producing some of the finest wines in New Zealand and the world, from its flagship sauvignon blanc variety to chardonnay, pinot noir, pinot gris and methode traditionnelle.

The region is home to more than 100 wineries from well-known international brands to small boutique family producers. More than 50 of these wineries have a ‘cellar door’ open to the public for tasting and direct sales. There is a variety of local wine trail operators providing a popular way to see and sample what Marlborough has to offer, be it by coach or bicycle!

Marlborough, New ZealandMarlborough’s high sunshine hours and unspoiled environment also nurtures produce with the finest flavours, succulent seafood from Marlborough’s crystal clear waterways; scallops, crayfish, famed greenshell mussels, salmon or freshly caught snapper.

The fun doesn’t stop there however, you can forage for fresh garlic, asparagus and other seasonal specialties from the gate or Sunday Farmer’s Market, pick your own stone fruit, apples and berries or find boutique award winning olive oils at local olive groves.

Marlborough, New ZealandYou could also just dine among the vines at one of the many award winning winery restaurants – go on we won’t tell a soul, but we bet you won’t be able to help yourself!

This region abundant in produce is also blessed with spectacular scenery including the beautiful Marlborough Sounds. The Marlborough Sounds has 1500km of coastline, making up 20% of New Zealand’s total coast and is truly a wonderland, with winding waterways, sheltered bays, ancient untouched forest and the famous Queen Charlotte Track.

This iconic trail attracts visitors with its stunning views. From historic Ship Cove through to Anakiwa, the track passes through a wide range of landscapes, from lush forest, historic bays to skyline ridges.

Marlborough, New ZealandThe complete track is 71km with most sections being able to be accessed by water transfer for day or half day walks, or it can be completed as a 3-5 day trip. Local operators also provide packages combining walking, mountain biking and sea kayaking for the track.

A unique feature of the Queen Charlotte Track is the comfort in which it can be completed. Accommodation along the track is plentiful, ranging from backpackers to high end, all transfers and luggage are undertaken by water-taxi, providing easy access and a relaxed experience for the visitor.

Marlborough is also a treasure trove of Maori, colonial, and natural history. The region across the top of the South Island is known in Maori as Te Tau Ihu o te Waka o Maui – the prow of Maui’s canoe.

Marlborough, New ZealandAccording to legend, the Marlborough Sounds were formed when Kupe, a great warrior was chasing a giant octopus and finally caught it in Cook Strait, where it formed the waterways and headlands of the Marlborough Sounds.

Today, the region’s newest attraction brings to life the heroes of World War One aviation with an unparalleled collection and dramatic lifelike scenes.

The Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre plays host to part of Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings director) vast collection. Peter sent in experts from world renowned Weta Workshop and Wingnut Films to create the sets that make this attraction world class and of interest to anyone!

Looking for accommodation amongst the vines in the heart of Marlborough? Then look no further…

Marlborough Vintner's Hotel - New ZealandSituated in the heart of Marlboroughis wine country on Rapaura Road, Marlborough Vintners Hotel offer a totally personalised and tailored service that brings the best of Marlborough together to ensure customers’ needs and expectations are met – or exceeded. There are 16 one-bedroom vineyard accommodation suites at MVH. All are Qualmark rated 5 star serviced and self-contained dwellings with master bedrooms and en suites. The spacious open-plan living areas lead on to private patios which take in the romantic surrounding vineyard vistas.

Recently MVH has developed its “Marlborough Packages”, which offer visits to some of the region’s top tourist operators. All the packages have a clear focus such as ‘Seafood & Sauvignon’, ‘Pamper & Luxury’, and ‘Flora & Fauna on Foot’, to name just a few. There are 13 such packages, taking in every aspect that makes this such a diverse and interesting region. So whether you want adventure, relaxation, or indulgence, Marlborough can oblige. We invite you to kick back and relax, get out and explore, or generally indulge yourself – you’re going to love Marlborough!