Heritage, Culture & Arts

Marlborough’s rich history runs wide and deep, from the earliest Polynesian settlers of the Wairau Bar to the first European pioneers who built our towns and planted our first grapevines.

These people, the way they lived their lives 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.

Marlborough has a wealth of arts and culture, from art galleries to museums through to concerts and theatre productions.

Follow the Marlborough Arts and Crafts Trail, enjoy a glass of wine while listening to live music at a vineyard or on stage at Marlborough's new ASB Theatre.

Horahora Kakahu Island Heritage

An unassuming island in Port Underwood, Horahora Kakahu was the site of a major historic event on 17 June, 1840.

Here, Major Bunbury proclaimed British sovereignty over the Middle (now South) Island and raised the British flag to a 21 gun salute. He had first gathered signatures to the Treaty of Waitangi further south and at nearby Kakapo Bay, by local chiefs of Ngati Toa and Rangitane. The pa at Horahora Kakahu Island was possibly one of several established by Ngati Apa as early as the 16th century.

Today, a sign post on Port Underwood Rd indicates a view of the island, where a white memorial marks the spot where the proclamation was made.

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