Regarded as New Zealands sunniest
province, the Marlborough region is an area of great natural beauty which occupies
the north-eastern corner of the South Island. The landscape is diverse, stretching
from the sheltered waterways of the Marlborough Sounds to Kaikoura, where snow-capped
mountains meet the sea.
The sheltered coastal bays of Marlborough supported
a small Maori population from possibly as early as the twelfth century. Anthropologists
have christened this part of central Aotearoa, Waenganui, which stretched from
the inland Ureweras to Kaiapohia. Maori in the region lived by fishing and cultivating
crops, including kumara, a sweet potato.
Marlborough was not sighted by
Europeans until the arrival of Captain James Cook in 1770. Sixty years later,
the first European settlers were drawn by the rich coastline and arrived to set
up whaling stations here.
Today the regions economy is still rural
based, with pastoral and horticultural farming providing a major source of income.
Wine production has been one of the fastest growing industries and Marlborough
is now one of New Zealands largest wine producing regions.
Bishops School (1844)
43 Nile Street, Nelson
Bishops School was built in 1844
in Nelson for the Church of England elementary school, which had begun in 1842.
It was later briefly used as a public school, then from 1860 to 1895 it was again
an Anglican church school for boys.
In 1881 a new wooden schoolhouse was
built, with one brick wall from the original building. The building was later
used as a library and meeting room, private primary school, and scout and guide
room. The New Zealand Historic Places Trust restored the school house in 1975.
Articles of Victorian school days are displayed inside.
The scenic Kaikoura Peninsula has attracted both Maori
and Pakeha settlers for several hundred years.
Robert Fyfe founded the
Waiopuka Whaling Station and the home he built in 1842 is known today as Fyffe
House. Built of native timbers with lath and plaster interior walls and mud and
straw insulation, the house rests on whalebone foundations. The house was extended
in 1860 by Fyffe (Roberts cousin spelt differently) and his wife
Catherine. In 1868 it became the home of Joseph and Margaret Goodall and their
family. Joseph held a variety of public offices and then managed the nearby wharf
as well as building the Pier Hotel.
In the twentieth century the house
became home of the Low family for over sixty years. Their cows, sheep, hens and
vegetable gardens are gone, but some of the their furniture remains in the house,
as well as Georges boat. The Lows bequeathed the house to the New Zealand
Historic Places Trust in 1981.
Today Fyffe House is the towns oldest
building and remains virtually unchanged from its whaling era origins.
town of Kaikoura has retained its links with its whaling past, and today is known
internationally as the whale watching capital of the world.
This handmade colonial cottage is built from totara
slabs and was home to Charles and Tilly Turner and their four children from the
early 1880s until 1909. Their life was typical of early pioneering families;
Charles felled bush and worked on the roads in the area whilst Tilly stayed at
home raising their children and growing vegetables to feed the family and passing
Their house can be viewed during daylight hours though
glass viewing panels.
House, one of New Zealands oldest houses, was once part of a much larger
complex of which only a few archaeological remains have survived. It is in an
area that has been inhabited for possibly up to one thousand years so any work
on the house or surrounding area produces interesting finds.