The Woodbourne Airport, sometimes referred to as the Marlborough Airport, is a busy regional airport found in Woodbourne in the South Island of New Zealand. Located some 7km from the centre of Blenheim, the airport is strategically located to cater to New Zealand's wine growing area, in the sunny Wairau Valley. The airport was one of the first airports in New Zealand, and is one of the few remaining air force bases with general maintenance services and initial training facilities. Serving the city of Blenheim, Woodbourne Airport has three runways, with two having a grass surface. Although the airport is small, it handles at least 227,886 passengers (2013 data) per year, with almost 23,000 aircraft movements and 9,000 landings.
Currently, the terminal building of the Woodbourne Airport is scheduled for major renovation in 2014 to cope with the growing passenger demand. The redevelopment includes extension of the apron along with new check-in, baggage claim facilities, and additional car parking.
What to see & do
Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre – This museum houses a splendid collection of original and replica Great War aircraft brought to life in a series of dioramas that depict dramatic wartime scenes, such as the death of the Red Baron, as well as some memorabilia and photo displays. After enjoying the exhibits, travellers may also visit the next door Omaka Classic Cars exhibit which houses more than 100 vehicles from the '50s to the '80s.
Rock Ferry – One of the better restaurants in Malborough, the Rock Ferry has a pleasant environment from the inside and to the outside, painted with groovy colours. The compact summery menu complete with tea-smoked salmon and organic open steak sandwich is accompanied by wines from Marlborough and Otago.
Wines in Marlborough – The wine of Marlborough has its unique and distinct flavour which sets it apart from all the others. Extraordinary purity and flavour intensity along with impressive aroma characterises the wines, and its distinctive fruit characteristics and just the right amount of acidity lingers around the taste buds. 77% of New Zealand's wines are produced here, making it the premier wine producing region in the country and one of the best wine making regions of the world.
How to get around within Blenheim
Travellers are better off walking around the city centre than anything else, as the proximity of destinations are shorter than expected. If going to visit the wineries and the vineyards, travellers may opt to ride a bicycle; bicycles can be rented from various travel and tourism agencies. More so, the city has bus lines and taxis which can be utilised, and while cheap, it is far better to just walk, except of course if carrying a lot of luggage or other heavy items around.
How to get there
The Woodbourne Airport is the major airport connecting the city of Blenheim to most of the key cities in New Zealand. The airport is served by Air New Zealand Link, Air2There, and Sounds Air, with destinations such as Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Kapiti Coast. For cheap flights, check out Skyscanner. Skyscanner is an online source of cheap flights from over 600 airlines and destinations worldwide.