Nelson, the geographical centre of New Zealand, is a region renowned for
warm sunshine, fine beaches, lakes, mountains and native forests. The City
of Nelson is large enough to offer all the services and amenities of a large
city yet is small enough to be intimate, welcoming and friendly. It is New
Zealand's largest fishing port and the gateway to a major forestry and
horticulture industry. Add to this the attraction of fine foods, superb
wines, an innovative craft industry, spectacular scenery and traditional
"Kiwi" hospitality and you can understand why Nelson is a place to which
holiday makers flock all year round.
The journey from the city of Nelson into the western region of Golden Bay
and the Abel Tasman National Park is truly spectacular. Here the beautiful
coastline is famous for clear blue waters and pristine golden sand beaches.
The Abel Tasman national Park can be explored by guided walks, sea kayak,
cruise boat, water taxi or freedom walking - you will experience penguins,
seals, dolphins and native birds all set in lush native forest that has a
semi tropical appearance.
Don't forget to visit the crystal clear Waikoropupu (Pupu) Springs, or the
360 metres deep Harwoods Hole (deepest in New Zealand) or explore the
intricate network of limestone caves in this area. Farther west is the
unique Farewell Spit. Over 100 species of birds visit this area each year,
some from as far afield as the Artic lands of the northern hemisphere - four
wheel safaris into this area are becoming increasingly popular.
Inland Nelson is a wonderland of water adventure, including kayaking,
rafting, boating and for those who prefer fishing, the Nelson Lakes area
provides some of the best trout fishing in the world. And for those who
enjoy their water as snow, skiing and even ice skating make the Nelson Lakes
a popular winter destination as well. The area is well served by some
exquisite luxury lodges hidden away among mountains, lakes and exotic
settings of native bush.
Because of its mild climate, Nelson is a region of great diversity, a
microcosm of New Zealand in one district. There is extensive horticulture,
including vineyard, fruit and the more traditional farming scenery of sheep
and cattle that New Zealand is famous for. The people of Nelson are well
known for being skilled and innovative artisans, especially in pottery,
glass making, bone carving, knitting, basket making and jewellery. Local
restaurants can tempt the most discerning palate with their superb seafood
including: mussels, scallops, oysters, seasonal whitebait, geoduck and many
fish varieties. The Taste Nelson festival is held each year to celebrate
these culinary delights. Another annual Nelson festival which has become
internationally acclaimed is the New Zealand Wearable Art Awards - this is a
celebration of local creativity when artisans produce and wear their own
wearable art creations.
Nelson, blessed by nature as a destination which offers almost everything,
is not to be missed in any tour of New Zealand. The region is easily
accessible being one and half hours drive from Picton, the gateway to the
South Island via Cook Strait, or 5 hours drive from Canterbury and
is served by regular flights from all over New Zealand