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As the national hop growing centre and with the most craft breweries per head of population in New Zealand, Nelson is a great place for a beer.
The area is home to 16.6 percent of the country’s craft breweries, a fact it pays homage to annually with Marchfest – a celebration of the local drops combined with music and the area’s equally celebrated food and wines (March 24 2012).
But you don’t have to wait for a festival. The beers are available at the breweries and many of bars and restaurants throughout the area.
Beer is just one example of the riches on offer for visitors.
With three of New Zealand’s National Parks (Abel Tasman, Kahurangi and Nelson Lakes) close by there is a wealth of hiking, adventuring and nature spotting to be had.
It is also a notable wine producing region and with over 350 arts and craft studios and galleries dotted in about the countryside its residents also know a thing or two about the creative arts.
The top 10 picks for the region are:
World of Wearable Art and Classic Cars Museum – this is the chance to see some of the best entries from World of Wearable Art Awards, an internationally regarded competition for fashion art plus a collection of rare, classic cars
Suter Art Gallery – local artists feature prominently amongst displays of national and international art. Also take the time to explore Nelson’s myriad of boutique galleries and craft outlets
Nelson Market – a great place to sample local produce and purchase from local crafts people. Held every weekend
Wineries – there are 25 wineries in the Nelson area and many have restaurants and cafes to complement their wines
National Park exploration – stunning scenery on offer in three very different national treasures
Kite surfing – the waters off the Nelson beaches provide ideal territory for kite surfing from beginner to advanced
World class fly fishing
White water rafting
Cycling (the Heaphy Track is one of many places for mountain biking)
Air New Zealand flies between Nelson, Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch connecting it with 22 other domestic destinations. For information and to book flights to Nelson visit www.airnewzealand.com
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