Centre of New Zealand Walk

1 hour


  • Learn about history
  • Family friendly - suitable for prams
  • Views from the top


  • By walking: 2 mins from Nelson

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The Centre of New Zealand, on Botanical Hill at the start of the Maitai Valley, is an iconic walk in Nelson.

Walking the track

The starting point for the Centre of New Zealand walk is the Botanical Reserve. Walk across the reserve, the site of the first ever rugby game in New Zealand - here, a panel shaped like a rugby ball and goal posts here elaborates on that in more detail.

There are a couple of routes you can take to the top.  From here you will enjoy views over Nelson, native plants and a platform with seating. The Centre of New Zealand is so named because it was a central survey point in the 1800s. 

After reaching the summit you have a few options. You could descend via one of Botanical Hill's other tracks. Or you can extend your walk further. Walk down the eastern side toward Branford Park to the Black Hole swimming hole and return via the Maitai Track; follow the sign to Sir Stanley Whitehead Reserve; or head towards Walters Bluff. 

How to get there

The Botanical Reserve is reached over a footbridge from the end of Hardy Street. You can park your car on Hardy Street East.

Useful information

The Centre of New Zealand walk is steep but short, and family friendly - the main track is suitable for sturdy prams and buggies.

More information

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