Nelson Tasman has three national parks, stunning beaches and a vibrant art scene. This laid-back region has many attractions and activities for everyone.

Nelson Tasman rests at the top north-west region of the South Island and boasts New Zealand's highest sunshine hours per year making it an ideal hop and wine growing region, and an even better place to enjoy a craft beer or a glass of aromatic wine.

Nelson Tasman
World of Wearable Art, Nelson Tasman


Within 90 minutes’ drive of Nelson are three national parks, each with a distinct look and feel. Abel Tasman National Park is home to stretches of golden sandy beaches, turquoise blue coastline and one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, the Abel Tasman Coast Track. Kahurangi National Park is the backdrop for many scenes from the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movie trilogies, and it proudly showcases a stunning variety of native plants and wildlife. Nelson Lakes National Park is home to the crystal waters of Lake Rotoiti and an abundance of protected native bush.

Popular onshore activities in Nelson Tasman:

  • Cycle Tasman’s Great Taste Trail, and stop off at craft breweries, wineries, art studios, beaches, and restaurants along the way. We recommend a visit to Hoglund Art Glass(opens in new window) where you can watch glass-blowers create intricate pieces right in front of you.
  • Gander at the talent of the region’s artists and artisans at the Nelson Saturday Market or Motueka Sunday Market.
  • Enjoy a cold beer at one of Nelson's craft breweries, or follow the Nelson Tasman Craft Beer Trail. 
  • Take a helicopter tour to explore the filming locations used in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie trilogies. 
  • Embark on a day trip to stunning Golden Bay and take a guided safari to Farewell Spit - an area that has been a bird sanctuary since the 1930s.
  • Visit Te Waikoropupu Springs – the largest freshwater springs in New Zealand, and the largest coldwater springs in the Southern Hemisphere, containing some of the clearest water ever measured

Getting around

When disembarking on Main Wharf South, there is pedestrian access onto Wakefield Quay. From here it is approximately 10 minutes' walk into the city. 

From all other wharves, the port shuttle is required to exit the port. 

The Nelson i-SITE Visitor Information Centre is a great place to obtain maps and information about the region. It is located on the corner of Trafalgar and Halifax Streets in the central City. 

On foot

Nelson City's many attractions, shops and restaurants are easily accessible on foot. 

To visit the surrounding region you will need to arrange a vehicle or alternate form of transport. 

Public buses

NBus operates regular services between Nelson City, Stoke, Tahunaunui Beach, Richmond and return. Fares range from $2.50 to $4.00 one-way, depending on distance. Contact the Nelson i-SITE Visitor Information Centre for a timetable. 


Taxis are easy to find in Nelson. Contact Nelson City Taxis on freephone 0800 10 88 55 or Sun City Taxis on freephone 0800 422 666. 

Car rental

It's recommended that you book your rental car in advance. Find a rental car in Nelson Tasman. 


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