Nelson City & Surrounds

As the main urban hub for te tauihu (the top of New Zealand’s South Island), Nelson is a vibrant city and the gateway to fascinating towns and villages, diverse landscapes from mountains to sea and three national parks within 90 minutes drive.

Nelson City has a population of just under 50,000, ranking it as New Zealand’s 12th most populous city, and it’s the geographical centre of New Zealand – you can walk up the Centre of New Zealand track for stunning views over the city and Tasman Bay.  The Nelson Tasman region goes from Golden Bay down to Murchison with the main centre being Richmond.

Nelson is well known for its thriving local arts and cultural scene and Saturday morning market. It gave birth to the annual Wearable Art Awards (now based in Wellington) and the world’s longest flying fox (the Skywire at Cable Bay Adventure Park).  All of New Zealand’s commercially grown hops (essential for beer brewing) come from this region as do most of New Zealand’s boysenberries, and Nelson is the largest deep-sea fishing port in Australasia.

Christ Church Cathedral, definitely worth a look inside, presides over the city centre where you will find boutique shops, art galleries and alfresco dining.

Along Wakefield Quay, Nelson’s picturesque waterfront, you will find several restaurants with views across the harbour to the mountains, plus ferry trips and kayaking to the Boulder Bank, its lighthouse and surrounds.

For more top tips for visitors to Nelson Tasman visit the official Nelson Tasman website.