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.

Picton Heritage and Whaling Museum

Explore the long and fascinating past of Waitohi/Picton and the Marlborough Sounds through the extensive historical collection at the Picton Heritage & Whaling Museum.

Artefacts, letters and photographs bring to life the stories of early Māori, in particular those of local iwi Te Atiawa, as well as the area’s rich maritime history and wildlife.

Overlooking the scenic foreshore and Tōtaranui/Queen Charlotte Sound, located on the site of the original Waitohi Pa, the museum is affiliated with Museums of Aotearoa and has pieces from the local area dating back as far as 1700.

Learn about the arrival of European settlers in Picton and Tōtaranui/Queen Charlotte Sound, through the eyes of the families who lived here. See pieces from the original Picton hospital and inventions made by local people.

The museum’s whaling display, including tools, photos and equipment, gives a true insight into the harsh, tough job of the whalers once based in the Marlborough Sounds and Cook Strait.

The Picton Heritage & Whaling Museum is open daily.

Visit the Picton Heritage & Whaling Museum

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