Kupe to Cook - Rapaura Springs Garden Marlborough Tour

Thursday November 7, 8am to 5pm

Saturday November 9, 8am to 5pm

















Rapaura Springs Garden Marlborough is proud to work in partnership with the Tōtaranui 250 Trust to host a ‘Kupe to Cook’ tour in Tōtaranui/Queen Charlotte Sound.


2019 marks 250 years since the ship Endeavour carrying James Cook, the Tahitian priest Tupaia and Joseph Banks, arrived in New Zealand. They were on a scientific exploration, Cook searching for the ‘great southern continent’ and Banks and his group of botanists exploring the natural world. Tupaia had joined the crew in Tahiti, and proved to be a crucial communicator and diplomat with locals; especially when the ship reached Meretoto/Ship Cove.


This year Aotearoa/New Zealand is commemorating the first encounters between Māori and Europeans. The national programme is Tuia 250 – Encounters, with a national kaupapa reflecting on the proposition ‘Dual History, Shared Future’.


This unique, insightful tour will be an opportunity to hear two sides of the same story through the voices of reputable local Māori and Pākehā historians, including Dr Peter Meihana and Kiley Nepia, cultural advisor of Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō, and Peter Jerram.

Enjoy a relaxing boat ride sailing through Tōtaranui, taking in the beautiful and abundant flora, fauna and wildlife that were recognised and cherished by both Māori and European settlers centuries ago.

At Meretoto (Ship Cove), hear stories passed down by descendants of the first iwi that settled in this region, and learn about how the first encounters at Meretoto may explain why Cook returned here more than anywhere else in Aotearoa.

The tour will also visit Motuara Island, significant for Māori and as the place where Cook claimed sovereignty over the South Island. Motuara was also where Cook and his crew established productive gardens. It is now predator-free and used as a crèche for rowi kiwi, unique to the southern Okarito forest near Franz Josef.

If you are a history lover, a wildlife lover, or want to hear new stories about a wonderful part of our region, this is the tour for you.

Comfortable, flat shoes and wet weather clothing are required. A delicious packed lunch will be provided.

To book tickets : Rapaura Springs Garden Marlborough tours


In 2019, New Zealand will mark 250 years since the first meetings between Māori and Pākehā during James Cook and the Endeavour’s 1769 voyage to Aotearoa New Zealand. Tuia – Encounters 250 will acknowledge this pivotal moment in our nation’s history as well as the extraordinary feats of Pacific voyagers who reached and settled in Aotearoa many years earlier.

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