Art, culture and heritage in Marlborough

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.

marlborough art culture heritage

Visit Ship Cove in the Marlborough Sounds

Cruise the Marlborough Sounds and visit Ship Cove and Motuara Island, where Captain James Cook claimed British Sovereignty for New Zealand. Ship Cove is steeped in New Zealand history as early explorer Captain James Cook’s favourite base.

Find out more on the Department of Conservation website

marlborough ship cove
marlborough lochmara sculpture trail

Walk the Lochmara Sculpture Trail

Cruise across to the Lochmara Lodge in the Marlborough Sounds to walk the Lochmara Sculpture Trail. The works range from quirky pieces to sculptures by renowned New Zealand and international artists. Make sure you allow time to enjoy the rest of the lodge while you are there too.

Lochmara website

Explore the Art & Craft Trail

The Marlborough Arts Trail features 10 local artists, signposted around the region. Spend a half day browsing the many art and craft galleries or visit artist’s studios.

Arts Trails website

Journey through WW1 and WW2 at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre

Visit the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre in Blenheim, which brings to life the heroes of World War One aviation with an unparalleled collection and dramatic lifelike scenes. The sets were created by world renowned Weta Workshop and Wingnut Films. Head over to their WW2 exhibition for an immersive look at the sides of the second world war.

Omaka website

Marlborough Omaka
marlborough Millennium ART Gallery

Check out Millennium ART Gallery

Go and enjoy art works from Marlborough’s own artists along with art from renowned painters, sculptors, weavers, photographers and other talent from around New Zealand and overseas. located in the centre of Blenheim, opposite Seymour Square, The Art Gallery presents a high quality, varied programme of regularly changing curated art exhibitions and events.

Milennium ART website

Learn about Maori history at Karaka Point

Stop at Karaka Point, 10 minutes past Waikawa Bay, to learn about this historic Maori site. Karaka Point near Picton was once a fortified pa where Māori were perfectly positioned to see potential invaders coming down Queen Charlotte Sound (Totaranui).

Find out more on MarlboroughNZ

marlborough karaka point
marlborough music theatre

Enjoy some music or theatre

The region boasts a wealth of music and theatre performances from local artists, alongside renowned national and international visiting artists. Performances are based in local theatres as well as vineyards and other outdoor venues.

Find out what's on in Marlborough

See the oldest surviving convict ship at Edwin Fox

The Edwin Fox Ship is the last surviving convict ship that took convicts to Australia and the oldest surviving merchant ship left in the world. Go walk the decks and the depths of the graving dock and experience what life on board would have been like.

Edwin Fox Society website

marlborough edwin fox

Continue to Wellington

If you have started the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail in Marlborough, follow the trail north to Wellington. Take a 35-minute flight to Picton or sail between Wellington and Marlborough on board the Interislander ferry. To make the most out of your experience, upgrade to “Premium Plus”, an exclusive private lounge with complimentary beer, wine, tea, coffee and a mini buffet

Travel north
wellington te papa te taiao nature ocean