Stories from the Top of the South

Welcome to The Prow, a website featuring historical and cultural stories from Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough. 

Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka a Maui is the Māori name for the top of the South Island. Legend tells us that Te Tau Ihu was the prow of Maui's waka, or canoe, from which he fished up the North Island.

Join our voyage and discover more about the history and stories of Te Tau Ihu. Search or browse the theme pages, our timeline or the map location feature,  add your own story, comment on any story, subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Twitter. Contact us for further information or to provide feedback on our stories.

The Prow is a collaboration between the Nelson City, Tasman and Marlborough District Libraries, Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology and The Nelson Provincial Museum.  Images are supplied by supporting institutions, please check their terms of use.

Prow Features

World War I

The Prow will feature Nelson's WWI stories throughout the commemorative years: August 2014-November 2018. We welcome Your Stories.
WW100 Logo Process CMYK

Top of the South Timeline

Find a story or an event using our timeline feature


Includes curriculum resources for teachers, Nelson Historical Journal, Nelson Photo News and more..

Story of the Day Sunday 26 April 2015


Wakamarina Gold

In 1864 Nelson was aroused from a 'depressed commercial state' by the discovery of gold in the Wakamarina. Despite promising early finds, the Wakamarina’s easy gold was worked out within a year and the gold rush was soon over.

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Recently Added Stories

  1. Picton's Anzac losses
  2. Maurice Gee
  3. Graves of Fairfield Park

Recently Added Comments

  1. 4 days ago
    More research needed ... the military personnel file link below takes you to a Leonard... read more
  2. 5 days ago
    A timeline correction...the Nelson Mail was sold to INL, Independent Newspapers Ltd, not Fairfax. I... read more
  3. 5 days ago
    Thankyou for your research on Willy Ham. My grandfather was Harry who was killed in... read more

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