Nelson Tasman


  • Centre of New Zealand
  • Cycle or walk along the Maitai River
  • Queens Gardens


  • by car:

    1.5 hours from Blenheim

  • by plane:

    1 hour 25 mins from Auckland

One of the sunniest cities in New Zealand, Nelson buzzes with creative energy and has a vast array of activities, both indoors and outdoors.

Nelson Tasman
Buskers Festival, Nelson Tasman

Nelson is an entertaining city in many ways. From the city centre it is an easy walk to the geographical centre of New Zealand, where you can enjoy stunning views of the city, port, Tasman Bay and surrounding mountains.

The base of the Centre of New Zealand, Botanic Gardens, are a great place from which to begin a cycle ride, taking you on a journey along the Maitai River and past numerous local sculptures. Or, for the mountain-bike enthusiasts, Dun Mountain and Codgers are a must-do during your visit.

During the week, the Wednesday Farmers Market is the place to go to try local artisan products and fresh produce, or for weekend visitors, Nelson's Saturday Market offers a range of prepared and raw foods, flowers, clothing, art and atmosphere. 

From a cultural point of view, the city is a chance to appreciate New Zealand art, both in galleries and in artists’ studios, having attracted creative people who work with glass, metal, stone, wood, clay, sand, paper, ink, paint and fabric. Visit Jens Hansen, maker of the ‘One Ring’ from the Lord of the Rings & Hobbit trilogies, and see for yourself the love that goes into his handcrafted jewellery. Historic South Street and Founders Heritage Park will broaden your insight into the regions unique history, whilst Queens Gardens, Miyazu Gardens & the Japanese Gardens showcase it’s diversity.

Nelson is a hub for events all year round, making it a desirable place to visit, live and work. Light Nelson, Feast for the Senses, Arts Festival, Buskers Festival, Cider Festival and MarchFest are just some of the extraordinary events featuring on the regions event calendar.

Nearby in Tahunanui, you’ll find a stunning beach and a range of activities to keep the whole family entertained, with paddleboarding, mini golf, go karting, a trampoline park, bumper boats, a hydroslide and a zoo to name a few. You might choose to dine alfresco on the waterfront, walk along the 13km long boulder bank, or even catch a boat across to Haulashore Island for a picnic.

Explore Nelson Central

Find things to do

Find places to stay

Find transport

Find a multi-day tour

Where to next?