Nelson Tasman is famous for its incredible landscapes and natural phenomena, with its long pristine beaches, sprawling forests and rugged mountains. It is also noted as something of a Bohemian paradise, with a high concentration of galleries and studios, it attracts many of the country’s artists, who give it its dynamic and creative atmosphere. An eclectic mix of high culture and thriving business, all set against a stunning natural backdrop, Nelson is one of New Zealand’s best kept secrets.
Nelson has all the accommodation options you would expect to find in a modern city. The most desirable area is arguably around the river and city centre, but the outskirts also have plenty of choice and are better for those planning to make excursions out of the city. Serviced apartments in Nelson are a great choice for anyone making a longer stay, as they offer many of the benefits of traditional accommodation, such as room cleaning and concierge, whilst affording guests the privacy of their own private space. Whether you are looking for large corporate housing, or a small studio for one, the Squa.re present some of the best accommodation nelson has to offer.
Nelson has some of the most diverse landscapes and geography anywhere in the country - and that is quite an accolade. It’s incredible hiking trails and opportunities to spot the region’s wildlife draws in visitors from all over the world - with plenty of tour operators running excursions from the city centre.
The creative industries are also thriving in Nelson and as such, it is a great place for those looking to experience a little culture. There are innumerable galleries and studios open to the public, showcasing the country’s contemporary and indigenous talent. There’s also plenty of museums which detail the cultural development of the region and its influence across the world.
Of course, the city also has plenty of social activities and hangouts - with a huge selection of artisan eateries, fashionable nightspots, and lush parks. The artistic heritage of the place gives it a truly unique feel and offers visitors the chance to enjoy soaking up the atmosphere across a myriad of quirky cafes, independent craft shops and stylish bars.
Nelson has a superb range of restaurants, catering to every taste. The Monaco Kitchen, Hopgoods Restaurant and Ford's Restaurant and Bar all serve contemporary New Zealand cuisine in a sophisticated setting - taking advantage of the abundance of local ingredients. There’s also plenty of international restaurants on offer, such as Babagatto Italian Restaurant and Sochan Korean Cuisine.
Morrison Square is Nelson’s larger shopping centre. Located on Hardy Street in the northern end of town, it offers high street fashions, electronic goods and homewares. There are also several other retailers in the immediate vicinity, such as Simply new Zealand and Spotlight New Zealand. Towards the other end of the city, there’s also the Richmond Mall, which houses a small selection of diverse retailers.
Nelson is a great destination for those looking to explore the outdoors. Natureland Wildlife Trust is an opportunity to see some of the region’s diverse wildlife, without even leaving the city, whilst Queen's Gardens has tranquil spaces bedecked with sculptures, flower gardens and a war memorial. Those wishing to learn about the history of the city can head to Nelson Provincial Museum - the country’s oldest museum.
Compared to much of New Zealand’s south island, Nelson has a good public transport system, comprised of rail, bus and tram services. The bus is usually the most comprehensive service, covering the town centre and surrounding areas, whilst the trains provides a quick way of getting from one end of town to the other. There is also the option to rent a car for the duration of your stay - which is often the most convenient way of exploring the region.
Much of Nelson’s economy centres around businesses serving the local population. The Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology has allowed for tech start-ups to thrive in the city, whilst there are also several construction companies operating locally, such as Nelson Pine Industries and Global Forest Partners Weyerhaeser New Zealand. Sealord Group Limited is also one of the city’s biggest employers.