Nelson Heritage Festival online

The Nelson Heritage Festival 2020 may be cancelled, but you can use this time to enjoy  a wide range of online and virtual heritage collections, tours and events.

The Nelson Heritage Festival 2020 may be cancelled, but you can use this time to enjoy  a wide range of online and virtual heritage collections, tours and events.

Check out the Nelson Virtual Heritage Festival events Youtube channel - virtual tours and events being added throughout April.

Local Heritage resources 

The Prow  - stories from Te Tau Ihu:  the top of the south. A celebration of the region's culture and heritage. Browse for stories (people, places, events, enterprise, Māori, arts and society), or search by keyword or on our map. Add your own story to the hundreds of Your Stories we have already collected.

Nelson's Heritage Homes on the Prow
Tours of some of these homes were a highlight of the 2018 and 2019 Nelson Heritage Festivals. They were organised as a fundraising event for the Nelson & Tasman Cancer Society.  Many of the homes had not previously been open to the public. Each house has a unique story. Researcher Sarah Ryder, Life Story Writer (Forget-me-not Life Stories) volunteered her time to find information about each of the properties, and working with the home owners, the stories were documented, shared with tour participants and recorded as Prow stories.

Nelson Provincial Museum  Collections Online - explore the world-class historical photographic collection and other collection objects

Marlborough Museum Collections Online - a huge range of objects and curated collections.

Nelson Photo News - a pictorial record of Nelson life 1960-1972

Journals of the Nelson Marlborough Historical Society

Tohu Whenua  - a collection of videos from Nelson City Council on landmarks and sites of significance, to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori: Te Pepeha o Whakatū (Tribal connections to Nelson)/ Maungatapu/Moketapu (Mt Maungatapu)/ Manukau & Omaio (Monaco & Stoke)/ Matangi Awhio & Aorere (Auckland Point & Tasman Bay)/ Whakatū (Nelson)/ Horoirangi (Glenduan)/ Mahitahi (Maitai River)

Maungatapu Murders - background information on the production for the 2017 Nelson Heritage Week. YouTube clip.

Nelson City Council Heritage Facilities Volunteer Newsletter April 2020 [PDF] - snippets of information and ancedotes, about the facilities, links to videos displaying at Founders, recipes and more 


PapersPast - get lost in the stories from New Zealand's newspapers. Most are available from their first printing to around 1930. There is a comprehensive collection of Nelson's newspapers.

Te Papa Collections Online and The little page of calm - explore the digital collections,  plus quizzes, activities and videos

Auckland War Museum Collections Online  and  their Auckland Museum at Home - virtual tours of the exhibitions, plus videos, articles and activities

Canterbury Museum Online exhibitions


Many museums and galleries already have wonderful virtual tours available for free, and more are being created. Check the Google Arts and Culture platform for what's on offer.

Some highlights:

Heritage Events

  • Marie Hickey - Wills and Probate
  • Chris Turnbull - NZ Imperialism in the Cook Islands
  • Jan Gow - Researching Historical and Digital records in FamilySearch
  • Lisa Truttman - The People of Wai Horotiu
  • Influenza 100: Geoffrey Rice - Why do we still need to know? Part One

All the talks are available on SoundCloud.

Anzac Events - 25 April 2020

There were lots of opportunities to get  involved in virtual Anzac Day events