Last Modified: 6-12-2020 23:51
Havelock is a small South Island town 43km from Blenheim and at the junction between the scenic Queen Charlotte Drive to Picton and State Highway 6 to Nelson. Named after Sir Henry Havelock a British general at the time of the Indian Mutiny, Havelock was founded as a result of the gold rushes in the nineteenth century at Linkwater, Cullensville and the Wakamarina valley. The town grew from nothing to having 23 hotels and a thriving port in a matter of months in the mid 19th Century. Milling of native timber in the nearby Kaituna and Pelorus valleys provided further economic activity in Havelock following the gold rushes, with logs exported to Australia and the rest of New Zealand.
From 1890 until 1920, Havelock had its own newspaper, the bi-weekly Pelorus Guardian and Miner’s Advocate, which succeeded an earlier short lived newspaper, the Havelock Mail, which was published between 1864 and 1865 during a gold rush in the area.
Havelock School was established in 1861, with the original school building still standing, but now used as a Youth Hostel. Other significant historic buildings include the former Methodist Church which now serves as the town's museum, and St. Peter's Anglican Church, built in 1905 to replace an earlier structure.
Havelock has seen its share of famous people. Lord Rutherford and Dr William Pickering, both scientists of international fame spent their childhoods in Havelock.
At the 2013 census, Havelock had a population of 483, and at the 2018 census this grew to a population of 588, with a median age of 46.5 years, considerably older than the New Zealand median age as of December 2019, of 37.4 years. The population is predominantly European, however the Māori population makes up a significant minority at 15.8% of the population, which is similar to the national value of 16.5%.
Tourism and mussel farming related businesses are the principal economic activities. A fish and mussel processing factory is operated by Talleys. Water taxi services provide a link to the start of the Nydia Track which provides tramping access through to a DOC camp site in Nydia Bay. The Havelock Mail Boat provides an essential service delivering mail, passengers, and suppliers throughout Pelorus and Keneperu Sounds. A range of accommodation providers including motels, backpackers, B&B, and a motor camp cater to the tourist market. Havelock Marina, owned by Port Marlborough, provides boat moorings and a boat launching ramp. The tidal nature of the Kaituna and Pelorus estuaries and silty deposits limits the size of vessels able to use the marina, and those larger vessels that do operate need to take tides into account to avoid running aground.
The town has several cafes, a pub, a small supermarket, and a service station. A number of arts and crafts are produced in and around Havelock.
Havelock hosts several annual events. The Havelock Mussel Festival occurs in March, with a range of food and entertainment on offer. Muddy Buddy is a fun fundraising event held on the Kaituna estuary each year. The Grape Ride cycle race passes through Havelock.
Cite this page
Havelock. (2020) Retrieved December, 2, 2023, from https://www.marlboroughonline.co.nz/marlborough/information/geography/towns-settlements/havelock/