The Pelorus region extends from Rai Valley in the nor-west out to Kaituna in the east and D'Urville Island to the north, along with the many bays and valleys between. The small town of Havelock serves the area and is know as ‘The Gateway to the Sounds'.
The Pelorus region in the Marlborough Province was discovered and named by Lieutenant Chetwode in 1838 and the Pelorus River, Pelorus Bridge and the Pelorus Sound were named after his ship the H.M.S. Pelorus. "During his stay Chetwode was told by John Guard of a large navigable river known to natives and whalers alike as the Hoeire River."* "The old natïve name for Pelorus Sound and Pelorus River was Hoeire, which the Hemi family say was the canoe in which the original Maoris came to the district from the North Island. When the whalers began to frequent the Sound, they could not master the native pronunciation of the word, and so they did the next best thing, and called it Hosiery, and to this day some of the "old hands" never call it anything else."**
"With John Guard as pilot, the Pelorus is said to have entered the Sound through a narrow pass between Forsythe Island and the mainland. For eight days the brig sailed through the magnificent maze of mountains and hills. When the water shoaled the pinnace was manned, and the river itself was explored to its tidal limits".*
Pioneers originally settled the area for gold mining and milling of native trees. Today the primary industries are sheep and dairy farming on the land, and fishing and mussel farming in the Sound. Tourism is a growing industry, with kayaking, bush walks, boating and fishing bringing much business to the area.
As the region is very scenic and the climate temperate, Pelorus has become a popular area to move to. The people of the area, from young families to retirees, have developed a close knit community. A wide range of activities and interests are catered for, and Pelorus People is the place to find out about them.
* A.D. McIntosh. Marlborough A Provincial History Christchurch : Capper Press, 1977.
** H.A.H. Insull. Marlborough Place Names. (1952) Wellington, N.Z. : A.H. & A.W. Reed, 1952