The Centre of New Zealand
The sunniest region of New Zealand, Nelson is known for long golden beaches, sprawling forests and rugged mountains. The region also has a vibrant artistic culture and is renowned for its craft beer and world-class aromatic wines.
Nelson Lakes National Park, Abel Tasman Coastal , the pristine Golden Bay and many world-class wineries are unmissable stops on your visit to the sunshine capital of New Zealand.
Food & Wine
A great place for a pint or a glass of vino, Nelson is the national hop growing centre and a notable wine-producing region.
The ideal location and climate to cultivate hops, the city has developed a reputation as the Craft Brewing Capital of New Zealand. Visitors can enjoy a pint, take a tour or sample the different varieties at the region’s locally-owned, family-run breweries including Home of Dales’ Brewing Co, Founders Brewery, Totara Brewing and The Mussel Inn Brewery.
Among one of the smaller growing regions, Nelson’s compact size also means visitors can get around most of the vineyards in just one day. Sample some of the aromatic varieties which flourish in the cooler climate at Anchorage Wines, Five Oaks, Golden Bay Wines, Kahurangi Estate, Middle Earth Wine, Neudorf Vineyards or Te Mania Estate. And if all that drinking has wet your appetite, you’ll find plenty of locally-produced, gourmet food in the area. The seafood and famous Nelson Bay scallops are unmissable.
Arts & Culture
Nelson is a magnet for creative people with over 350 artists working in the area and numerous galleries, studios and historic buildings dotted about the countryside. Visitors can gain an interesting insight into the city’s past pioneers at the Nelson Provincial Museum or take in the unique garments on show at the World of Wearable Art Gallery. Fans of modern art will also enjoy spending a few hours at regional gallery, The Suter which features works by Sir Tosswill Woolaston, one of the founders of contemporary art in New Zealand.
Experience the Great Outdoors
Stunning natural landscapes set the region aside as a truly unique holiday destination. Nelson is home to several of New Zealand’s pristine National Parks, each with a distinct look and feel. Golden sandy beaches and clear water make Abel Tasman National Park a popular stop for visitors to the area. The sheltered bays are popular for cruising or sailing and the Coastal Track is a popular year-round walk that can be undertaken with or without a guide. Kahurangi is the second largest national park in New Zealand and served as the backdrop for many scenes in The Lord of The Rings. Heaphy track is a popular walk which showcases some of our oldest rocks, spectacular marble land forms and native bush. Nelson Lakes is and tranquil alpine escape with impressive native beech forest, valleys, glacial lakes and craggy peaks.
Nelson is also the perfect spot for kayaking, mountain biking, world-class fly fishing, white water rafting, and the best kitesurfing in New Zealand.