Marlborough local Matthew Large give his top tips for the region.

1 Fish for blue cod in the Marlborough Sounds

Fishing is a huge part of our family. Growing up, my father would always take me fishing and now I take my three children: Thomas, 13, Abbie, 12 and Theo, 8. We have a place in Pelorus Sounds, so we do a lot of fishing during the summer. Thomas is getting pretty good and even goes out in his own fishing kayak.

We mostly fish for cod, which tastes the best, especially when freshly caught.

2 Walk along Rarangi Beach, watching the sunrise
Every now and then I start the day with a walk along Rarangi Beach with my wife, Adele, and our Hungarian vizsla, Gus. It gives us a chance to catch up without interruptions, although the kids join us more and more these days. It's very stony and rustic, definitely not your usual beach. We spend the time talking, searching for odd things that wash up on the beach and watching the sun come up over the sea.

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3 Visit the world renowned Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre
Everyone who travels to Marlborough should visit The Omaka Aviation Museum. It's a world-class facility right on our doorstep, rather than in Wellington or Auckland. Peter Jackson has put so much time and effort into it.

4 Lunch and wine tasting at the Wither Hills Winery Restaurant
Of course, I may be biased, but in my humble opinion The Wither Hills Cellar Door and Restaurant offers great food, wine and company in an amazing setting. You can enjoy a platter outdoors on the bean bags, go up market and treat yourself to a three-course lunch with matching wines or even have a go at blending your own pinot noir. The building has many spaces like our Barrel Hall to explore at your leisure.

This March actually marks 25 years of Wither Hills and we'll all be celebrating this huge milestone at the winery. It's an amazing location to work at every day and I'm very proud to be a part of it.

5 Take a mailboat cruise around the Marlborough Sounds
A historic mailboat cruise is the perfect opportunity to explore the Marlborough Sounds, especially for those who don't have their own access to a boat.

The mailboat takes you around the sounds for two to three hours while delivering mail, groceries and fuel to locals. It dips in and out of the bays, can ferry you to numerous walks and gives you an opportunity to meet the locals. It's the "Uber" of the Marlborough Sounds.

6 Walk in the Wither Hills Farm Park at Sunset
I like to finish my day with a relaxing walk or mountain bike through the Wither Hills Farm Park. It's a perfect way to unwind and get a bit of exercise. The Hills offers a fantastic view across Marlborough and the chance to watch the sun set over the mountains. What could be better?

Matthew Large is a winemaker at Wither Hills.

CHECKLIST

GETTING THERE

Air New Zealand

flies from Auckland to Blenheim, with one-way Seat fares from $87.

DETAILS
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