Nelson, Tasman, the geographical centre of New Zealand, is a region renowned for warm sunshine, fine beaches, lakes, mountains and native forests. Nelson is well known for its skilled and innovative artisans, especially in pottery, glass making, bone carving, 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.
The journey from Nelson city 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 - experience penguins, seals, dolphins and native birds all set in lush native forest and beautiful beaches.
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 more 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.
For those who enjoy their water frozen, skiing and even ice-skating make the Nelson Lakes a popular winter destination. The area is well served by some exquisite luxury lodges hidden away among mountains, lakes and exotic native bush settings.
Or if you'd rather, just relax. Sit in the sun, sip a wine from one of the local vineyards, and dine on the famous Nelson Bay scallops.