Nelson’s artists include carvers, glassblowers, painters, potters and weavers, whose work can be seen by following any of the 13 craft trails that also take in Nelson’s most attractive rural settlements.
Within the sheltering confines of Tasman Bay, Nelson’s safe beaches are rated as the best nationally.
Only the West Coast has as many national parks as Nelson. Abel Tasman, New Zealand’s smallest, is a coastal wonderland of sea, sky, rocky headlands and bright golden beaches. The Nelson Lakes National Park is set amidst the mountains and glaciated valleys of south Nelson, and features beech forests and the beautiful jewel-like lakes, Rotoiti and Rotoroa. Kahurangi, the country’s second-largest National Park comprises 450,000ha of mostly upland wilderness, with magnificent three to four-day hiking trails.
A range of adventure experiences is available including sea kayaking, whitewater rafting on the Buller River, tandem skydiving, four-wheel drive motorbiking through native forest and hiking on some of the country’s best-known tracks. There’s also a 35km, four-wheel drive trip along Farewell Spit, caving under Marble Mountain, and skiing or snowboarding the Rainbow ski area.
A shuttle bus service is available to collect guests of the Boutique Motel to transport them to the Abel Tasman National Park.