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.

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.

For those who prefer a winter - style holiday, skiing at Rainbow Ski Field and even ice skating make the Nelson Lakes in the beautiful alpine village of St Arnaud a popular winter destination. The area is well served by some exquisite luxury lodges hidden away among mountains, the beautiful lakes of Rotorua and Rotiti and exotic native bush settings.

The township of Nelson is well known for its skilled and innovative artisans, included Jens Hansen - the famed One Ring Maker from the acclaimed Tolkien books and Peter Jackson's movies - The Lord of the Rings series;  pottery, glass making - Hoglunds Art Glass and Flame Daisy, bone carving, and jewellery.

World-class 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.

Over the hill to stunning Golden Bay you will find natural wonders in the area - visit the crystal clear Waikoropupu Springs which hold the world record for the clarity of their fresh water, or descend Harwood’s Hole, which at 357 metres (1170 ft), is New Zealand’s deepest vertical shaft. 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 circle - four wheel safaris into this area are becoming increasingly popular.

Wharariki Golden Bay

Wharariki Beach - Golden Bay


Cape Farewell


Bainham Bridge



Nelson is also home to three beautiful national Parks - the smallest being Abel Tasman National Park; Kahurangi which lies more to the North West and the Lakes District.  All easily accessible and which take various amounts of time to hike.