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A wonderful view of Marlborough can be seen from just off the state highway between Blenheim and Picton – from the hilltop cemetery that overlooks Tuamarina.
On a clear day, the vista looking south stretches from Wellington right up the Wairau Plain.
It’s possible to drive right up to the historic cemetery, turning in just beside the Tuamarina School.
There’s a small space for car parking at the top and, although the access road is narrow, it is quite easy to negotiate.
The cemetery contains markers of some of Marlborough’s earliest history, from the first conflict between Maori and pakeha and graves of early families, to memorials to the casualties of war.
At the base of the hill there’s a special memorial to Marlborough’s leading literary figure from the 1930's, poet Eileen Duggan.
Daughter of Irish immigrants who settled in Tuamarina, Eileen received her schooling in Blenheim and this region was a great influence on her writing. She became, in her own lifetime, one of New Zealand’s better known poets.
The headstone and paved area is a place for quiet contemplation and rest – a perfect spot for a picnic or just to stretch out in the sun.