Heritage, Culture & Arts

Marlborough’s rich history runs wide and deep, from the earliest Polynesian settlers on Te Pokohiwi-o-Kupe/Wairau, Bar to the European pioneers who built towns and planted our first grapevines.

These people, the way they lived, and how they dealt with history’s major events has shaped Marlborough into what it is today.

Those stories are all here, waiting to be discovered all over again in the places where they happened or in our galleries, museums, art and theatre productions.

Discover the culture

While you're here take time to seek out Mt Tapuae-O-Uenuku, its majestic peak visible from many places in Marlborough as well as much further afield.

Not only does the maunga (mountain) make for a magnificent vista, and a challenging climb for the experienced, but it also provides a powerful symbol for the rich cultural tapestry of Marlborough, as a sacred landmark for local Māori iwi.

You can also learn more about some of Aotearoa’s very first settlers, Māori who arrived at Te Pokohiwi-o-Kupe/Wairau Bar some 800 years ago, by visiting the Wairau Lagoons or Marlborough Museum. In the Marlborough Sounds, cruise Meretoto/Ship Cove and learn about one of the first encounters between Māori and Europeans.

For more of Marlborough's diverse cultural offerings take a visit to one of the many museums dotted around the region, and be sure to come for the Marlborough Book Festival in winter, featuring local and nationally renown writers.

Search & book

View My Trip