What's it like?Stunning golden beaches bathed in year-round sunshine, close proximity to three national parks, a fine selection of boutique wineries and micro breweries and a relaxed community known for it’s creative capacities; Nelson has an abundance of treats in store for it’s visitors.
Named after Admiral Lord Nelson, Nelson city and the surrounding region offers a Mediterranean-type climate owed to it’s sheltering mountain ranges in the northwest corner of the South Island; this provides ideal conditions to enjoy the fresh caught seafood in the waterfront restaurants or to simply stroll along the historic city streets.
The Nelson region comprises of five very distinct and unique areas:
- the urban experience in Nelson and Richmond
- the highway towns of Mapua, Motueka and the Moutere that sit in rolling horticultural land
- the world class coastline of the Abel Tasman National Park
- the heart of the Abel Tasman and Kahurangi National Parks, Golden Bay, which nestles right in the middle of it all
- the stunning alpine lakes and rivers around St Arnaud, Nelson Lakes and Murchison
Things to do in Nelson and Tasman
Nelson's vast array of visitor activities can be attributed to its diverse landscape of golden beaches, snow capped mountains and sprawling vineyards all within 1 - 2 hours drive of the city centre.
Whether you're looking to inspire some creativity with Maori basket weaving, experience the thrill of backcountry adventure or soak up the hustle and buste of the local markets, it's all right here with an established cafe culture to help you unwind.
One of the major drawcards to this region is the amount of art and craft available. Nelson region had over 350 working artists who call it home, and so there are many places to see art galleries and workshops.
If you are a keen walker than the 22 plus walks just around Nelson city will be ideal for you. If you feel a little more adventurous than there are a number of amazing walks and hikes further abroad within the region, none more famous than the Abel Tasman National Park trail.
Talking about adventure. For those of you who want that adrenalin rush or just to get outdoors than there is sea kayaking, rock climbing, white water rafting, mountain biking, sailing, golf, horse trekking, four wheel biking, multi-day hikes and skydiving all within your sights and easy as to get to.
After all that fun you are going to need somewhere to relax. Nelson region is at the forefront of the New Zeakland health and wellness movement, from body work to contemporary alternative medicines.
Main towns and centres
Nelson - arts and crafts, fine food, amazing lifestyle
Motueka - gateway to the Abel Tasman and Kahurangi National Parks
Takaka - the main centre for the Golden Bay area
St Arnaud - the gateway to Nelson Lakes National Park and the winter playground that is Rainbow Ski Area, Nelson's closest skifield
Murchison - a farming community that lies beside the deep green Buller River (a river lovers paradise) and the southern gateway to Kahurangi National Park
Nelson - Why We Love It