The vibrant Nelson city centre offers an abundance of cafes, restaurants, bars and shops and along the waterfront, you will find many fine restaurants specialising in seafood to enjoy. Founded in 1841 by the New Zealand Company the region today still boasts many remarkable buildings from these early days, however it is its close proximity to Abel Tasman National Park that is one of Nelson's greatest advantages to visitors with its pristine waters, beautiful native bush and golden beaches making this an adventure seeker's paradise. Nelson is also famous for its art and crafts and you will find many local offerings - including the world-famous Hoglund Glassworks.
A fun and informative tour through two of Nelson's craft breweries. Go behind the scenes and see how beer is made, as well as learning about the history of hop growing in Nelson and sampling a wide range of naturally brewed beers and ciders. You'll also visit two award-winning vineyards where you'll meet the owners and winemakers themselves.
You will hardly get a sweat up during this super-relaxed day of beer cycling. This is a flat, urban route which starts and finishes at The Gentle Cycling Company and follows custom-designed map. The self-guided ride includes morning tea at a pub on the trail, followed by tastings at two small breweries. These two tastings will be booked for you and there will be time to chat to the brewers for a personalised beer cycling experience. In the afternoon, you will have time to visit two more breweries on the route. McCashins Brewery and Eddyline Brewery are both open 7 days - tastings are not included in the tour price. While you are in the area, why not follow the smell of the roasting peanuts to Pic's Peanut Butter factory. The trail goes almost to the door, so you can swing by the factory Monday to Friday for a tasting (no appointment necessary) and pick up a jar of Pic's famous Peanut Butter to take home. And finally, for the keen and eager types, there is one more Craft Beer pub sited on the trail. Bar 321 specialises in Harringtons beers and ciders, which are brewed in Christchurch. After that, you just need to follow the trail back to The Gentle Cycling Company for the 5pm shuttle back to Nelson.
The Skywire has incredible views of Cable and Delaware Bays, the western ranges and north towards D’urville island. One a clear day you can even see the snow-capped peak of Mount Taranaki.
Strapped securely into the ride with 5-point harnesses, the Skywire seats up to four “flyers” at a time, with around 800m of gravity assisted free-wheeling, reaching speeds of up to 100 kph, followed by 800m at a more leisurely pace - ideal for taking in the incredible scenery. Then you do it all again - BACKWARDS
Pushed for time? Explore the Plains area of Nelson in an afternoon. Take in two wine tasting experiences along with some of Nelson's tastiest attractions such as Pic's Peanut Butter Factory Shop, Eyebright Country for Prenzil Liqueur tastings, Connings Food Market & Tasman Artisan Cheese Shop, Hoglund Glass, Iconic McGlashan Pottery studio and workshop and a beer or cider at Nelson’s own Sprig & Fern Brewery Tahunanui Bar.
Tracking west into the Kahurangi mountains, enjoy a flight over unspoilt country before your pilot lands at a remote alpine location, where you can enjoy the overwhelming surrounds of New Zealand’s second largest National Park. Following your mountain landing, you descend further north west to Golden Bay, and track the beautiful coastline to land in the remote settlement of Puponga, situated at the base of Farewell Spit.
Here join Farewell Spit Eco Tours for a private guided tour of Farewell Spit, the natural sandspit that spans approximately 26 km above the tide mark across the top of the South Island. Hear the history of Puponga and New Zealand’s first Radar Station. See where whales strand and uncover the mystery of the migrant waders. During the summer there are up to 20,000 godwits and 30,000 knots at the Spit, as well as other northern migratory birds, New Zealand natives and introduced species.
Mapua Wharf was once a busy coastal freight wharf used for transporting fresh orchard produce to consumers around the world. It no longer bustles with wharfies and freight ships, instead there’s a steady hum of crafty creativity and the buzz of thriving restaurants, cafes and bars. Here you can watch a variety of local artists at work and purchase unique New Zealand creations direct. As well as the delicious fare available at the restaurants and cafes, you can also sample some divine artesian produce, like smoked mussels and salmon from the Smokehouse. To explore further afield hire a bike and explore the local bicycle trails, including the Tasman Great Taste Trail which links nearby Nelson with Mapua, via a ferry ride from Rabbit Island across the Waimea Estuary, home to a range of bird species. Mapua Wharf is a short 25 minute drive from Nelson.
Explore Happy Valley on horseback with a guided horse trek. There are a range of treks to suit your level of ability, and your guide will ensure that your horse is suitable for you to ride. Your guide can take you through meandering rivers and along mountain trails, with breathtaking mountain and sea views along the way.
The Old Ghost Road is an new and epic trail traversing some spectacular alpine terrain.Your Helibike adventure starts with a long scenic Helicopter flight from Nelson across the remote and awe inspiring peaks of the Kahurangi National Park, and on through to Ghost Lake Hut at the top of the Old Ghost Road. On your flight you'll pass over some of the scenery from the Lord Of The Rings films on top of Mount Owen as you head through some of New Zealand’s most remote and interesting landscapes. The marble mountains and lush native forests will have you captivated. After spending some time taking it all in and admiring the views, you'll mount up and ride across to the towering "Tor" and visit the "Tombstone" and even have a knock at "Heaven's Door"! Then it's down through the deep lush native forest to Lyell Saddle Hut where you'll stop for lunch (Provided). After lunch, cruise the 18km down the old dray trail, stopping to look at the mining relics and natural formations before finally arriving at Lyell Campsite to meet your transport. A stop in Murchison on the way home for a “Debrief” finishes the day off nicely.
The journey from Nelson to the world famous Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc growing region passes over the spectacular Richmond Forest Park with an option to take a short flat walk through a pristine virgin forest and view the Pelorus River where the barrel scene of the Hobbit movie was filmed.
Pass through Havelock, the Mussel Capital of the world before reaching the vast Marlborough wine region where each vineyard or winery visited has been chosen for its stunning locality and unique romantic story. All are top boutique and family owned, driven by passion and enthusiasm that allows their cultural influence to show through in the consistently high quality wines. Food and wine matching is always a highlight along with tasting other local gourmet foods.
The World of Wearable Art and Classic Cars Museum is an iconic "must see" Nelson visitor attraction that celebrates two distinctly different passions. A world class collection of classic cars can be viewed alongside incredible wearable works of art from all around the globe. This unique visitor attraction means you can enjoy the special World of Wearable Art experience even if you can't make it to the annual performance. All the garments on display have performed on stage in the annual WOW Awards. The magical experience of the annual awards show is brilliantly translated to the gallery setting by the use of superb music, specially sequenced lighting and a cleverly introduced element of movement. Here you will truly appreciate the intricate detailing of these incredible creations up close. The car collection represent years of passionate sourcing from around the world and New Zealand. These cars are some of the most sought after models in Classic Motoring, presented to the highest standard, with some having undergone extensive restoration. As well as being classic examples of automotive technology, these cars tell an important story about the twentieth century. They represent the spectrum of automotive history, design and craftsmanship. This is one of Australasia's largest private collections. The museum's distinctive building features a six-metre high metallic aluminium ribbon wall that is based on a dynamic wand and silk taper performance in a previous Wearable Art show. The aluminium fabric flows and twists like the original fabric. The museum also includes a cafe with fine food made fresh every day and superb locally roasted coffee which you can enjoy inside or out beside their tranquil pool.