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 number of places that are now only small settlements, or that have even dissappeared from the map entirely were bustling towns during the gold rush era.
Under new local government boundaries created during the 1980's Kaikoura ceased to be part of the Marlborough region, however there remains a strong historical association.
A small town in southern Marlborough Land District, administered separately from the rest of Marlborough since 1989 local government reforms. Renowned for eco-tourism, particularly whale watching.