Marlborough’s geography can be roughly divided into four sections. Two of these sections, in the south and the west, are mountainous. This is particularly true of the southern section, which rises to the peaks of the Kaikoura Ranges. These two mountainous regions are the final northern vestiges of the ranges that make up the Southern Alps, although that name is rarely applied to mountains this far north.
Between these two areas is the long straight valley of the Wairau River. This broadens to wide plains at its eastern end, in the center of which stands the town of Blenheim. This region has fertile soil and temperate weather, enabling it to become the center of the New Zealand wine industry.
The fourth geographic zone lies along its north coast. Here the drowned valleys of the Marlborough Sounds make for a convoluted and attractive coastline. The town of Picton is located at the southern end of one of the larger sounds, Queen Charlotte Sound. The town of Havelock is located at the southern end of the Pelorus Sound, the Pelorus Sound also feeds into the Kenepuru Sound.
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