Top 10 Things To Do in Nelson

Sunny Nelson Tasman sits at the top of New Zealand’s South Island and offers a wide range of attractions, making it a popular travel destination. Whether you are keen to take advantage of stunning natural landscapes with outdoor activities, experience culture at an art museum, or simply relax and sample wine at renowned vineyards, Nelson has it all.

Explore the Abel Tasman National Park

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The Abel Tasman National Park is one of Nelson’s three national parks. Offering gorgeous coastal views, golden sand beaches, and a popular hiking track that caters to different difficulty levels, there are options for walking, hiking, kayaking, or taking a scenic boat tour across the coast.

Immerse yourself in the Nelson Saturday Market

The Nelson market showcases local crafts and fresh produce, with art and food stalls offering a wide range of delicacies from local farmers and small businesses around Nelson. Grab a fresh apple, enjoy an artisanal brunch, or check out a wide array of crafts and clothing sold by different Nelson-based vendors.

Discover the charm of Golden Bay

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Just over Takaka Hill, the ‘marble mountain’ lies Golden Bay. As the name suggests, this bay is home to golden sand beaches with spectacular views over the water. At the end of the bay is Farewell Spit, one of the world’s longest natural sandpits at 34km long, and is a world-renowned bird sanctuary. Golden Bay is also home to Te Waikoropupū Springs, the largest coldwater springs in the Southern Hemisphere. Home to these sites of cultural significance, this is not one to miss.

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See the beauty of Nelson Lakes National Park

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Nelson is truly spoilt for choice with gorgeous parks. Framed by mountains split by forested valleys, Nelson Lakes National Park is the start of the breathtaking Southern Alps. At the centre of this park lies the beautiful Lake Rotoiti (small waters) and Lake Rotoroa (large waters). Stroll along the lake, challenge yourself to an alpine hike, or go fishing and kayaking if that’s more your style. 

Savor local Nelson Flavours

Nelson is well known for its restaurants, wineries and vineyards, but is also the craft beer capital of New Zealand. Grab a pint at McCashin’s brewery and see where Mac’s beers are made, or Founders Park Brewing Co which specialises in craft beer and local wine. To sample delectable local wines, Neudorf Vineyards is a must-visit, famous for its pinot noir. 

Cycle the Scenic Tasman’s Great Taste Trail

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not hire a bike and take a scenic ride through Tasman’s bicycle trails? With different difficulty levels, you can adjust your ride to suit you, passing through a variety of stunning landscapes: orchards, vineyards, coastlines, native bush, valleys, and rivers. Stop for a real fruit ice cream or quality coffee to refuel!

Journey Through Time at Founders Heritage Park

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Museum lovers will appreciate the picturesque village of character buildings and gorgeous gardens in Founders Heritage Park. Learn more about Nelson’s history and local stories, meet local artisans, and be sure to check out the iconic Windmill Gift Shop. 

Discover Some Amazing Local Art

To see local art, look no further than the Suter Art Gallery Te Aratoi o Whakatū’s collection. Located in downtown Nelson City, this is one of the oldest art galleries in New Zealand. Walk around the different diverse exhibitions, or shop for unique crafts-arts, textiles, and pottery, which can all be found in the gift shop for a standout souvenir. 

Relax at Tahunanui Beach

Tahunanui Beach reserve area covers an impressive 1.75km stretch of sand and is the ideal place to relax, go swimming, or take on other outdoor activities like windsurfing and paddle boarding. Check out boutique shops nearby or simply soak up the sun Nelson is known for.

Take a Day Trip to Mapua Wharf

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Catch a ferry to Mapua Wharf, a charming seaside village thirty minutes from Nelson City. The wharf offers its own restaurants, wineries, and art galleries that are sure to please a wide range of guests. Just offshore is Rabbit Island, a favourite spot for mountain biking, with a network of mountain bike trails to explore.

Explore Nelson with Pegasus

Nelson has something to offer everyone, from relaxed travellers to seasoned adrenaline junkies. Visit soon and take advantage of the flexibility of driving around the region’s different stunning locations by hiring a rental car in Nelson. See you there!