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.

Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre

The Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre in Blenheim was built by aviation enthusiasts who wanted to share their passion with others.

The museum’s roots were laid in the late 1990s with the arrival of two Chinese Nanchang trainers, which caught the public’s interest and the establishment of the Marlborough Warbirds Association.

Soon other heritage aircraft were drawn to Marlborough’s ideal flying weather and environment, and people began asking to see the growing collection stored at Omaka.

In 1997, discussions on how to allow public access began and the New Zealand Aviation Museum Trust was established.

The result is a permanent exhibition of one of the world’s largest collections of World War One aircraft, both static and flyable, and rare memorabilia, owned by The Hobbit director Sir Peter Jackson.

The Knights of the Sky exhibition brings human stories from the Great War to life in captivating scenes created by internationally acclaimed WingNut Films and Weta Workshop.

A new exhibition hall will open in mid-2016, featuring aircraft, memorabilia and stories from World War Two.

The Centre is open 7 days a week and closed Christmas Day only.

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