Nelson, the geographical centre of New Zealand, is a region renowned for warm sunshine, fine beaches,
lakes, mountains and native forests. The City of Nelson is large enough to offer all the services and
amenities of a large city yet is small enough to be intimate, welcoming and friendly. It is New Zealand's
largest fishing port and the gateway to a major forestry and horticulture industry. Add to this the
attraction of fine foods, superb wines, an innovative craft industry, spectacular scenery and traditional
Kiwi hospitality and you can understand why Nelson is a place to which holiday makers flock all year
The journey from the city of Nelson into the western region of Golden Bay and the Abel Tasman National
Park is truly spectacular. Here the beautiful coastline is famous for clear blue waters and pristine
golden sand beaches. The Abel Tasman national Park can be explored by guided walks, sea kayak, cruise boat,
water taxi or freedom walking - experience penguins, seals, dolphins and native birds all set in lush
native forest and beautiful beaches.
Inland Nelson is a wonderland of water adventure, including kayaking, rafting, boating and for those
who prefer fishing, the Nelson Lakes area provides some of the best trout fishing in the world.
For those who enjoy their water frozen, skiing and even ice skating make the Nelson Lakes a popular
winter destination. The area is well served by some exquisite luxury lodges hidden away among mountains,
lakes and exotic native bush settings.
The township of Nelson is well known for its skilled and innovative artisans, especially in pottery,
glass making, bone carving, and jewellery. Local restaurants can tempt the most discerning palate with their
superb seafood including: mussels, scallops, oysters, seasonal whitebait, geoduck and many fish varieties.
The Taste Nelson festival is held each year to celebrate these culinary delights.
For natural wonders in the area visit the crystal clear Waikoropupu Springs which hold the world record
for the clarity of their fresh water, or descend Harwood’s Hole, which at 357 metres (1170 ft), is New
Zealand’s deepest vertical shaft. Farther west is the unique Farewell Spit. Over 100 species of birds visit
this area each year, some from as far afield as the Artic circle - four wheel safaris into this area are
becoming increasingly popular.
Nelson, blessed by nature as a destination which offers almost everything, is not to be missed in any
tour of New Zealand. The region is easily accessible, being one and half hours drive from Picton, the
gateway to the South Island via Cook Strait, or 5 hours drive from Christchurch, and is served by regular
flights from all over New Zealand.
Featured Nelson Events