This peaceful seaside city is renowned for the talented artisans - painters, potters, sculptors and the like - who make their home here by the sea, farming and becoming part of the creative landscape. The region posesses more working artists per capita than anywhere else in New Zealand, and boasts a plethora of galleries, studios and artists' workshops to visit. Add to this its golden-sand beaches, boutique wineries, world-famous brown trout rivers, tramping in Mount Richmond Forest Park plus all the sailing, tramping and sea fishing that's on offer, and you won't be short of things to do.
ST ARNAUD & MURCHISON
With mountains, snow-fed lakes, raging rivers and dense native beech forest providing a pristine playground for adventure activities, there's no shortage of fun in this region. The Buller River and its surrounds offer whitewater rafting, kayaking, caving and tramping. Or you can try your luck in the goldfields, or go hunting, mountaineering or ice-skating in the Nelson Lakes National Park. During the winter months, the Rainbow Valley skifield at St Arnaud is popular with families and there are some super cafes and restaurants to enjoy in the quiet town of Murchison.
With its glorious golden-sand beaches, sparkling clear blue ocean and abundant wildlife, Abel Tasman National Park is the highlight of any visit to the Motueka district. From sailing and kayaking to snorkelling and hiking, the park offers something for everyone. The horticultural township of Motueka also boasts beautiful gardens, interesting museums, a host of local arts and crafts, and fresh produce - harvested from both the land and sea - is bountiful.
At the north-western tip of the South Island, where the mountainous Wakamarama Range rolls down to meet the turquoise horseshoeof Golden Bay, lies Farewell Spit, New Zealand's longest spit of sand and a sanctuary for migrating birds. However, it's not just the beautiful coastline that delights visitors to Golden Bay: there are caves to explore, spectacular freshwater springs, endless forests for hiking and rivers upon which to enjoy kayaking. For a relaxing day, take a wander through the lovely shops and galleries of Takaka.
THE BEST OF NELSON, GOLDEN BAY, COASTAL TASMAN, NELSON LAKES + BULLER GORGE
For more ideas on the best things to see and do, our favourite places to stay, and the top spots to wine and dine tantalise your taste buds with the best of New Zealand cuisine and delicious kai in the Nelson region, Golden Bay region, Coastal Tasman region and Buller Gorge + Nelson Lakes check out our website.
Travel like a local with an itinerary created by a Kiwi travel agent. We'll work together to design a bespoke trip specifically tailored to suit your personal interests, tastes, travelling style and budget featuring local insights into New Zealand.