Nelson and the Abel Tasman region is blessed with a mild sunny climate year round and magnificent landscape from alpine lakes, and raging rivers, to wide sandy coastlines provide a backdrop for leisurely adventure from kayaking to walking to skiing and enjoying the beaches.
There are three National Parks, which are surrounded by fertile countryside providing fresh produce: berries, olives, apples and pears. Grapes and hops also thrive and are handcrafted into fine wines and thirst-quenching brews, and the surrounding bays provide the ocean’s bounty. Pick your path through rolling hills and coastal landscapes visiting gourmet food producers, boutique wineries and breweries, and the studios of an extraordinary artistic community that thrives here.
Vibrant coastal towns are full of bustling cafes, charming boutiques and funky art galleries, waiting to be leisurely explored.
Port Nelson is the largest fishing port in Australasia. Fresh fish, scallops, clams and mussels feature on the menus of creative chefs. Nelson winemakers are renowned for aromatic varieties – a perfect match for seafood. Or enjoy a cold ale at the end of day exploring – craft brewers are a plenty with serious pubs and breweries aplenty.
Nelson Tasman is blessed with a mild mediterranean climate, and boasts the highest sunshine hours in New Zealand – perfect for exploring the region’s three national parks, and for growing grapes, olives, berries, hops and apples!
Explore the famous Abel Tasman National Park, Kaiteriteri and Marahau are the southern gateways of Abel Tasman National Park and are 70 minutes drive north-west of Nelson city. Follow State Highway 6 south from Nelson and turn right onto State Highway 60. After passing through the township of Motueka, continue for 14 km to Kaiteriteri and 18km to Marahau. The park is also accessible by road from Golden Bay at the northern end of the park. Helicopter and fixed wing aircraft also provide transfers to Awaroa at the north end of the park.
The Murchison and Nelson Lakes National Park is a one hour 30 minute drive south from Nelson will take you to the alpine village of St Arnaud at the edge of Nelson Lakes National Park. Head south on State Highway 6 and turn left onto State Highway 63 to St Arnaud. For Murchison at the southern edge of the Kahurangi National Park, continue on State Highway 6. Bus servicesconnect Nelsonto St Arnaud on demand. Scenic water taxi operate on lakesRotoiti and Rotoroaon demand.
Golden Bay’s main township of Takaka is a one hour 50 minute drive from Nelson city on State Highway 60. Care should be taken on the Takaka Hill or ‘Marble Mountain’ as the road is extremely windy and narrow in places. To reach Collingwood, the starting point for tours of Farewell Spit, continue for another 35 minutes past Takaka. Head inland from Collingwood to reach the edge of the KahurangiNational Park and the start of the Heaphy Track. Regular road transport is available from Nelson to Golden Bay. Fixed wing aircraft operators will arrange road transfers to the start of the Heaphy Track and provide return flights from the end of the track at Karamea on the West Coast.