🚗 self-drive itinerary
🛏️ minimum 2 night stay recommended
🍽️ dining suggestions offered
📅 visit any time of year
A pocket of paradise, Nelson buzzes with creative energy. One of the sunniest centres in New Zealand, enjoy the local art and discover culinary talent at the good selection of local restaurants.
Highlights can include:
- join the "Nelson Bone Carver", for a 1 day workshop introducing you to the world of beautiful bone carving, a cultural Maori heritage of Aotearoa
- take a step back in time and see how people lived 150 years ago at iconic heritage site Broadgreen Historic House
- Boating, sea kayaking, snorkelling, walking and tramping are all great outdoor options on offer at Rotokura / Cable Bay 🐚
- admire the tower of Christ Church Cathedral an unmissable landmark synonymous with the city of Nelson
- get up close and personal to some unique New Zealand natives like Tuatara and Kea or hang with the monkeys at Natureland Zoo 🐒
- explore the magic of Nelson Harbour on The Ferry scenic tour 🛥️
- soar like a bird for over 3km high above beautiful native forest on the world's longest flying fox adventure - The Skywire
- be inspired by the community-based initiative working to create a pest-free wildlife sanctuary at The Brook Waimarama Sanctuary
- foodies, especially peanut butter enthusiasts, will love the Pic's Peanut Butter Factory Tour 🥜
- the iconicNelson Saturday Market showcases the best of Nelson craftspeople and artisans, fresh and organic produce
- set in quaint streets amongst village greens and beautiful well established gardensFounders Heritage Park displays the stories of our local people
- Tahunanui Beach is excellent for swimming, running or walking. It is also a paradise for stand-up paddle boarders, wind surfers, kite surfers, dog walkers and general sun seekers 🌊
- combining excitement and adventure, Happy Valley’s Quad bike tours are an unforgettable experience
- cycle the Great Taste Trail through vineyards and taste the wine with The Gentle Cycling Company 🚴
- The Centre of New Zealand Walk on Botanical Hill at the start of the Maitai Valley, is an iconic walk in Nelson 👟
- a passionate celebration of craft, form and art, the National WOW Museum & Nelson Classic Cars Museum is iconic
AT A GLANCE
📍 # of Visitors3.5
🌦️ Chance of Rain3.0
👨👩👦👦 Family Fun 4.0
🍽️ Food + Wine 7.5
🏳️🌈 LGBTQI+ friendly 👍
Note: the highest possible score is an 8.0
🎥video courtesy of Martí Nubiola on YouTube
Sit back and relax. We've planned it all for you.
Day 1 : Arrive in Nelson
You'll travel to Nelson today, arriving either by car, coach, or by flying into Nelson's Airport. Upon arrival into Nelson you'll check in to your accommodation, settle in and get acquainted with your surroundings for the next 2 nights.
This afternoon, get into the psyche of the city by visiting the National WOW Museum & Nelson Classic Car Collection. Where else in the world can you see a stunning selection wearable art garments, alongside veteran, vintage and classic cars?
After dark, we'll offer suggestions on where you could dine, and pre-book a table for you as the best restaurants like Hopgoods often book out early.
Day 2 : Explore the oldest city in New Zealand's South Island
Hopefully the weather is on your side, and the term "sunny Nelson" will make sense to you! But whatever the weather is doing, you're bound to find it easy to fill your time in this small but vibrant city.
In the South Island's oldest city, you'd be mad not to get a sense of days gone by at Founders Heritage Park or Broadgreen Historic House and afterwards finish up at iconic Christ Church Cathedral right in the heart of Nelson, surrounded by delicious eateries and plenty of shops to peruse.
Outdoorsy types will opt to walk iconic Centre of New Zealand Walk, best for birdsong and light at sunrise or sunset. Then fill the rest of today cycling on The Great Taste Trail, taking in the fresh air at Tahunanui Beach or heading off the beaten track at Cable Bay. Or soar high above it all on Happy Valley Adventures The Skywire ride - which is great experience best shared - you can sit 4 across and all enjoy the thrill at the same time.
No matter who you are, if you coincide your visit to Nelson with a Saturday, you really have to make a visit to the Nelson Markets for the atmosphere, the delicious aromas of the food, and the visual feast of creativity never disappoints.
Whatever you've ended up doing with your day though, dinner tonight will likely be a highlight as Nelson is very popular with foodies, and for good reason. Celebrate delicious New Zealand food and your last night in this region at one of our favourite restaurants in the area.
Day 3 : Depart Nelson
This morning, we'll let you know the best way to get from this region to the next part of your New Zealand trip, wherever you want that to be.