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Marlborough covers an extensive area ranging from the drowned valleys of the Marlborough Sounds in the north, through to the high country of Molesworth. A number of fault lines running through the region form valleys through which several major rivers flow, and are divided by a number of mountain ranges. Climate varies considerably from mild and humid in areas such as the Marlborough Sounds through to semi-arid in parts of the east coast and the Awatere Valley. Temperature also varies considerably with some northern coastal areas being virtually frost free, while in the interior, areas such as Molesworth experience frosts almost two thirds of the year.

Natural vegetation ranges from temporate forest mainly in the north to grasslands and scrub in drier areas. A few wetland areas of flax swamp and coastal salt marsh also exist. A number of endangered species are found only in the Marlborough region. Human activity has transformed much of the land, with viticulture, forestry and pastoral farming being major activities.

Population is sparse for the size of the region, with over three quarters being based in and around Blenheim on the Wairau Plain.


Marlborough has a number of natural and artificial lakes throughout the district.

High Country

A collection of articles about Marlborough's high country and mountain areas, including Molesworth, NZ's largest farm.


Wetlands and estuaries in the Marlborough region of New Zealand

Towns & Settlements

Marlborough is sparsely populated, with the greater part of the population concentrated on the Wairau plain in and around Blenheim, with other smaller settlements scattered throughout the region.


A collection of articles and photo galleries about rivers in Marlborough, New Zealand

Coastal Areas

Marlborough boasts an extensive coastline, and numerous islands thanks largely to the spectacular Marlborough Sounds

Geological Overview

Marlborough is a region shaped by a range of geological forces including continuous tectonic plate movement, and glaciation

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