When visiting Nelson Tasman take time to explore national parks, meet local artists and savour the local wines. Discover the region's top 8 experiences.
The drive to Murchison from Nelson City is a must-do for anyone who loves a dose of adventure. The Murchison ‘four rivers plain’ offers some of the best all-grades white-water kayaking and rafting in New Zealand, world-class fly fishing and an unforgettable jetboating experience through the Buller Canyon.
Be inspired by the National WOW Museum and Nelson Classic Car Collection, which displays pieces from the annual World of Wearable Art event. 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 visit to Te Waikoropupu Springs, the largest coldwater springs in the Southern Hemisphere. Or take a tour of the 35km Farewell Spit, home to a vast bird sanctuary and various other wildlife. Opt for a tour that also includes a visit to Cape Farewell, the South Island's most northerly point. Here you’ll get to enjoy stunning scenic views from the lighthouse and spot seals basking on the rocks below.
Nelson Tasman is home to one of the largest numbers of working artists and galleries in the country, and art in every form is represented here. From painters, sculptors, glass-blowers, jewellers, writers and creators, it is easy to see the depth of passion for the arts in the region. Visit a local market, gallery or studio and buy a unique gift directly from the artist who made it.
Take in the region's stunning views by bicycle on Tasman's Great Taste Trail. The trail can be done as a whole, or in sections, but whichever you choose your path will take you to vineyards, breweries, orchards, art galleries and boutique shops. Or, if some off-road adventure is more your style, Nelson Tasman has a selection of mountain-bike parks, including Kaiteriteri, Codgers and Wairoa Gorge.
Take to the skies to skydive 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. Or, if you prefer to appreciate Nelson Tasman’s beauty from the inside of an aircraft, there are plenty of helicopter and scenic flights on offer.
Due to its perfect growing conditions, Nelson Tasman is the home of all of New Zealand's hops, and to the South Island’s first commercial winery. It's also the craft brewing capital of the country, and has been named the Top Cider City in the world by National Geographic. Spend the day exploring and sampling the local product or visit during annual festivals such as MarchFest, Beer Week and the New Zealand Cider Festival.
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.