When visiting Nelson take time to explore national parks, meet local artists and savour the local wines. Discover the top 8 experiences in Nelson Tasman.
Take a helicopter flight over the 3 stunning national parks to be found in Nelson, and enjoy the unique view of Rotomairewhenua(known as Blue Lake in Kahurangi National Park), the clearest lake in the world, with the same visibility as distilled water! Reid Helicopters can also take you to the back country for trout fishing, to wineries or to see some of the locations used for filming the Lord of the Rings trilogy - your heli adventure is up to you!
Be inspired by the National WOW Museum and Nelson Classic Car Collection, which displays pieces from the annual World of Wearable Art event, be amazed by the creations, from current entries to pieces from past years. The collection is updated twice a year so there is always something stunning to discover. Then wander to the adjoining Classic Cars gallery, where you can view one of Australasia’s largest private collection of classic cars.
No trip to Golden Bay is complete without a tour of Farewell Spit. The 30km long spit is home to a vast bird sanctuary and is considered a Wetland of international importance. Stop in Cape Farewell, the South island's most northerly point to enjoy stunning scenic views from the lighthouse and see seals basking on the rocks below. For a truly unique New Zealand experience visit Te Waikorupupu Springs. These springs are the largest in the Southern Hemisphere and contain some of the clearest spring water ever measured.
There are over 300 artists in Nelson Tasman, and every type of art is represented across painters, sculptors, ceramic artists, potters, glass blowers, jewellers, performance artists, writers and creators. There are so many local markets, galleries and studios to visit you will be able to buy a unique gift direct from the artist who made it. Nelson is also where the World of WearableArt (WOW) event was born and where you can find the internationally acclaimed Hoglund Art Glass studio, and for the Hobbit fans, the jeweller that made the One Ring, Jens Hansen, can also be found in Nelson.
Take in the stunning views of the Nelson Tasman area by bicycle, cycling through Tasman Bay, Waimea Estuary and the Western Ranges. The trail can be done as a whole, or in sections, but whichever you choose your path will take you to vineyards, breweries, orchards, cafes & restaurants, art galleries and boutique shops as well as beautiful vistas of the coastline, the countryside and the mountains in the distance. If you are looking for advice, bike hire, luggage transfers or tours there are a number of local companies including Trail Journeys, The Gentle Cycling Company, Nelson Cycle Hire & Tours and Wheelie Fantastic Cycle Tours that can help you on your way.
Take to the skies to sky dive over Abel Tasman National Park, where you can see both the North and South Islands of New Zealand. The landscape will take your breath away as you fly over mountains, bush-clad hills, rivers, orchards, vineyards and golden beaches. With Skydive Abel Tasman, everything is captured on HD video, this is a memory you will never forget.
Nelson is the home of all New Zealand's hops, due to the perfect growing conditions. The region is also home to 11 craft breweries stretching from Founders Heritage Park to Onekaka in Golden Bay. They provide the perfect excuse for a day of exploring and sampling the local product. If you are interested in a more historical bent to your beer tour, then a visit to the Moutere Inn, one of the oldest pubs in New Zealand, or to the Mussel Inn for a taste of the Captain Cooker beer, is a must do.
Abel Tasman National Park is situated near the top of the South Island, and is accessible by walking, cruising or kayak. The sheltered bays of the Park are perfect for sailing and sea kayaking, also offering opportunities to see the seals and dolphins who regularly play in these coastal waters. If you prefer to explore by land, the Abel Tasman Coast Track follows the coastline through native bush, beside limestone cliffs and along golden beaches.