Things to See and Do
Wine & Food
Visit Mapua Wharf; a vibrant centre of arts, cuisine and delicious takeaway smoked fish. Buy fresh produce at the Saturday market, take away a chunk of cheese or an aromatic loaf of freshly made bread. Get sticky over locally handmade chocolates, try Kiwi hokey pokey ice cream. Make sure you stop in Golden Bay for a bowl of delicious local scallops or to experience catching your own.
Nature & Scenic
The Nelson region covers five distinct geographic areas:
- the urban centres of Nelson & Richmond
- the highways of Mapua, Motueka, Moutere, through rolling horticultural land
- the idyllic coastline of Abel Tasman National Park
- the heart of the parks, Golden Bay between Kahurangi and Abel Tasman national parks
- the alpine lakes and rivers around St Arnaud - Nelson Lakes & Murchison including Nelson Lakes and Kahurangi national parks
Art & Culture
The WearableArt phenomenon is now an internationally celebrated event. Winning entries from the shows live exclusively in Nelson at the World of WearableArt and Collectable Cars Museum. The juxtaposition of incredible garments with classic cars in one museum is a winning combination.
Beach & Coastal Encounters
Abel Tasman National Park covers just 22,350ha but its international reputation is enormous. The Abel Tasman Coastal Track is one of New Zealand’s Great Walks and it takes three to five days to walk the full length. The golden beaches, tranquil lagoons, clear water, native bush, seals and bird life ma
ke this an amazing year-round destination and a favourite location for sea-kayaking. The inland track is less travelled and also offers some spectacular scenery.
Highly recommend is Farewell Spit, where there is a café and visitor centre. The only access to the spit is by approved 4WD tours to the world-class bird sanctuary or Pillar Point Lighthouse. There are also lots of walks nearby including: to the lighthouse, to Puponga Point and Fossil Point, not to mention walking the dramatic west coast beaches
Kahurangi National Park offers an enormous range of landscapes: alpine tussock downs, caves, natural arches, sinkholes and water-worn outcrops to nikau forests on the West Coast. Wildlife includes the protected Blue Duck, giant land snail, largest cave spider, smallest giant weta, and the largest remaining population of Great Spotted Kiwi.
Nelson Lakes National Park is centred on two beautiful alpine lakes: Rotoiti and Rotoroa. Craggy mountains, tranquil lakes, beech forest, clear streams and pebble ‘beaches’ are synonymous wi
th Nelson Lakes.. Vegetation is predominantly red, silver and black beech.
Look out for Nelson's exciting birdlife including tomtits, robins and the tiny rifleman. The South Island kaka is less common, but can be spotted in Nelson Lakes.