The City of Nelson is located in an area of ocean and valley scenery, with the highest number of sunny days each year and three national parks it is no wonder that the city offers an outdoor lifestyle. The diverse and geographical of Nelson with its long and golden sand beaches to Natuve Bush Forests & Mountains
Nelson has long been a magnet for creative people. There are more than 350 working artists & craftspeople living in Nelson, traditional, contemporary & Maori. Visit their studios & find a unique piece to take home with you.
Nelson is the perfect place for those who love a glass of sauvignon blanc, Riesling or pinot gris and pinot noir wines. If you’re a beer drinker, rest assured – Nelson’s hops & craft breweries are famous. And if all that wine & beer sampling is making you hungry, you’ll find plenty of locally produced gourmet food in the area – make sure you try the seafood.
Golden Bay is an absolute paradise for nature lovers. This huge, sandy bay is famous for its scallops. Collingwood is the final settlement before Farewell Spit, a lengthy sandspit that wraps itself the upper reaches of the bay. The sandspit is a bird sanctuary but is too long to walk so you might want to catch a guided 4WD safari to see the lighthouse & birds. Head inland to Takaka to see the unbelievably clear waters of New Zealand’s largest springs, Te Waikoropupu Springs, or the Pupu springs as they are known locally.
Loved for its beautiful golden sand beach, the town of Kaiteriteri is the launching pad for trips into the Abel Tasman National Park. This is New Zealand’s only coastal national park, and its golden sandy beaches & clear turquoise waters make it one of the most popular. The sheltered bays are popular for sailing & kayaking. On land, the Abel Tasman Coast Track follows the coastline through lush native bush, over limestone cliffs & golden sandy beaches. This is regarded as one of New Zealand’s “Great Walks”. The 53 km track can be fairly easily walked & kayaked over a period of 3-5 days, or shorter visits can be made by water taxi. The Tonga Island Marine Reserve is home to NZ fur seals.
Sunny Motueka grows fruit, hops & green tea for the rest of New Zealand & has a lively café culture. Over the harvest months, Motueka is a very busy town, with local pip fruit & hops growers employing seasonal labour which swells the population. Motueka also has a lively artistic community so the art & craft galleries are worth a look.
Kaiteriteri is a small beach town that is the Gateway to The Abel Tasman National Park. With its beautiful and golden sands to the clear and pristine blue waters where you can Kayak to Spilt Apple Rock as well as board one of the daily Ferries or Water Taxi's to hike in visit the many delightful beaches and bays of the Abel Tasman.
Nelson is a known as one of the sunniest Cities in New Zealand and where you can explore surrounding forests and mountains to a walk on the long Golden Beaches. Hundreds of Artists have made Nelson their home and means you have a wide and contemporary choice of Artists studio's for the famed Hoglund Glass as well as Arts and Crafts shops. Take a visit to the WOW World of Wearable Art and Classic Car Museum. South of Nelson is Richmond where you can explore Vineyards, local Orchards and Waimea Plains where fruit is grown. The Richmond Ranges are the perfect place for those who like to hike
Murchison is a region of Rivers, a fisher's paradise, with the powerful Buller River, the Glenroy, Gowan, Mangles, Matakitaki, Maruisa Rivers all offering a different fishing experience as well as jet boating, kayaking and white water river rafting for those wanting adventure.
Collingwood is located in the most northern corner of the peninsula and is the access point to the Kahaurangi National Park, where hikers can enjoy the Heaphy Track. There is a Bird Sanctuary at Farewell Split on fabulous Golden Bay. Why not Kayak the Ruataniwha Inlet, or horse ride Wharariki Beach and located here is a Seal Colony and the Rawhiti Caves.
The Nature Reserve of Farewell Spit was a place where early Maori camped as well as being the location that Abel Tasman who described this area as the land of sand dunes whilst sailing this area in 1642. It was Captain Cook who on his departure from this region in 1770 naming this bay Farewell Spit.
Situated in the north-west corner of the South Island, the Nelson region is surrounded by sheltering mountain ranges, giving it a Mediterranean-type climate.
The Nelson region is known for its year-round sunshine, golden beaches, national parks, boutique wineries, micro breweries and a large creative community of working artists. Add to this locally grown produce, freshly caught seafood, historical streetscapes and waterfront restaurants and you’ll see that it offers a thoroughly pleasurable way of life. Every year the city of Nelson hosts the Montana New Zealand Wearable Art Awards, where art comes off the wall and onto the body in many weird and wonderful ways.
From Nelson it’s easy to access any of three National Parks. Abel Tasman National Park is a coastal wonderland of sea, sky, rocky headlands and bright golden beaches. The Nelson Lakes National Park is set amidst the mountains and glaciated valleys south of Nelson city and features beech forests and the beautiful jewel-like lakes, Rotoiti and Rotoroa. Kahurangi, New Zealand’s second-largest national park, comprises 450,000ha of mostly upland wilderness, with magnificent three to four-day hiking trails. Adventure operators make it easy to find the most magical places in the region. Kayak, river rafting, mountain bike, horse, 4WD (four-wheel drive) motorbike - you name it, you can do it!