Te Pokohiwi – The Wairau Bar 1250 AD

Wairau Bar ExhibitionThis exhibition focuses on the most significant recent discoveries about the people of Aotearoa - New Zealand. This is a land mark exhibition about the understanding of the people of our land, and their origins in East Polynesia.

The Wairau Bar is a most significant site in the archaeology of Marlborough, and also the Pacific. It is the place where the ancestors of Maori today rest. These are the earliest known graves in the country. The guardians of the site are Rangitane iwi. Due to the foresight of Rangitane, and their work with archaeologists and scientists, we have had an explosion of information in recent years. These insights are shared in this exhibition.

At least four graves on the Bar belong to the first generation of Polynesian settlers.The latest scientific work has proven that these people were once children in East Polynesia. While current DNA research will hold the key to their exact origins, this new permanent exhibition summarises the key points that are relevant today in understanding our origins, and daily life in the 13th C.

Brilliant exhibition design, with clear information, and fascinating artefacts will inspire you!

The Wine Exhibition

wineimages9_sml.jpgThe Wine Exhibition is a permanent exhibition, showcasing the history of wine and viticulture in Marlborough.

Exhibits include iconic, old, rare, and unusual wines, interesting viticulture and winemaking equipment, educational audio visuals, interactive displays, oral histories, memorabilia, photos, stories, and wine company histories.

There is plenty to entertain and educate the visitor including:

A wine bottle shaped oral history centre where visitors can listen to industry pioneers, such as Jane Hunter and Gerry Gregg, tell their story.

An Environment display that shows soil profiles of the region that match Sauvignon Blanc flavours.

A Cultivars Wall showing differences in cultivars and wines made from them. A technology section that highlights innovation and kiwi ingenuity: a home made wine bottle labelling machine, corkers, tipping tanks, leaf plucker, and wine pumps.

A Contemporary Change wall, that demonstrates how the face ofMarlboroughhas changed through the years.

A Decades Wall showcasing ‘society and wine’ through the years, from the 1800’s.

Displays showcasing twenty four individual wine companies, who sponsor the exhibition.

The Victorian Rooms

Our Victorian Rooms showcase collections in the context of a nineteenth century replica bedroom, sitting room, and kitchen. Each room provides a fascinating insight into the function of the Victorian home. The rooms relate to different types of homes showing how European settler families lived over 100 years ago.


Other displays relate to: The Wairau Affray, Goldmining in MarlboroughMajor General Sir Edward Walter Clervaux Chaytor (Marlborough's most famous soldier), and Elizabeth Lissaman (New Zealand's first studio potter, born in Marlborough).


Wild Things - Marlborough Natural History set in a Colonial Naturalist's Study

A great introduction to Marlborough plants, birds, fossils and crystals. Set in a Victorian naturalist's study, inspired by Sir David Monro. Check out our drawers!

For more information view this pdf


WWI: Marlborough Sacrifice

This exhibition reveals, for the first time, a range of stories of Marlborough people at home and away during WWI. It includes first hand accounts, diary extracts, and extraordinary collection items that have been never been on display before, as well as recent acquisitions and donations. 

A number of items have been posted to our facebook page Museum as well as the heart breaking story of a young man from Picton called Henry Daikee.

The exhibtion includes heroes, tragedy, and the heartbroken. Overall we have told the story of Marlborough's sacrifice in terms of individual stories and extraordinary artefacts.

Fran Maguire Domestic Goddess 6o Bowls and Cups

This exhibiiton, which is on until February 2017, includes an amazing reference collection of work from a 20 year period recently donated by Fran Maguire. In additon we have added a number of works by Fran from our collection. The range of creative concepts and technical achievement has been amazing out visitors!


Red: Fashion, Flags and Fine Embroidery

An enchanting look at RED highlights from our Textiles Collection. Until 30 October 2017.


Marlborough Modern: Plischke with JS Parker, Peg Moorhouse & Frank Graham

A small selection the focuses on the modernist aesthetic in Marlborough with our unique collection of Plischke furniture. Complemented with excellent examples of painting, textile design and ceramic work. Until 30 October 2017.

AUTUMN: Peg Moorhouse Weaver

Works by Marlborough's inaugural Living Cultural Treasure, Peg Moorhouse. Until 30 October 2017.