At just over 50,000 people, Nelson is the South Island’s second largest city and is known for its vibrant local arts scene. An hour and a half walk from the city center will get you to most of the suggestions in this guide (except numbers 6-8).
Located on Trafalgar Street. Visitors’ centers are always a good place to stop first for maps, information on special events, and restaurant recommendations.
The famous Nelson Market takes place every Saturday and showcases the best local arts, crafts, and produce. Monty’s Sunday Market has a fun flea market
vibe with antiques, new, and used items.
Considered by some to be New Zealand’s best beach for its proximity to the town, you’ll find people swimming, running, wind and kite surfing, paddle boarding, and much more.
Housing the bizarre and remarkable garments of the World of Wearable Art Awards Show as well as a fascinating collection of collectible cars.
Take the Maitai River Walkway through Nelson into the river valley. Walk, run, cycle, or mountain bike on this relatively flat, east path along the river.
The makers of Nelson’s favorite beer, Black Mac. Brewery tours are available as are tastings at the bar.
Great hiking with few crowds, you’ll find two beautiful glacial lakes and beech forest. Head to the Park Visitors Center for information.
This wetland is a renowned bird sanctuary and offers a beautiful landscape of huge sand dunes, a vast salt marsh, and panoramic views of Golden Bay. Plan at least two days for this excursion.
For hotel recommendations, please see the Pre- & Post-Tour section of your Trip Planner.
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