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.

Karaka Point Heritage

Karaka Point near Picton was once a fortified pa where Māori were perfectly positioned to see potential invaders coming down Queen Charlotte Sound (Totaranui).

Today, historic earthworks including ramparts and whare (house) pits from possibly the early 1700s can still be seen. In 1827 to 1830, members of the Ngāti Toa tribe established themselves at a number of locations around the Marlborough Sounds, including a number of pa sites in Totaranui.This included Te Rei o Karaka pa, at Karaka Point, which was attacked by Ngati Toa chief Te Rauparaha, his men armed with muskets, in the early 1830s.

An easy 15-minute walk from the carpark at the top of Karaka Point, off Port Underwood Rd, leads through the pa site.

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