Located an easy 10 minute walk from the city center, Port Nelson provides an ideal base for your exploration of this vibrant region. Regularly receiving the highest annual sunshine hours in New Zealand, Nelson’s climate is pleasant all year round, allowing easy access to the myriad cafe’s, restaurants, arts and outdoor delights that are on offer.
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Nelson is the second oldest settled city in New Zealand and the oldest in the South Island. Nelson is situated in a region often known as Nelson Tasman or the "Top of the South." It is actually slightly north of the capital city of Wellington. Together with Richmond, it has a population of around 50,000 ranking it as New Zealand’s tenth most populous city and is the geographical center of the nation.
Celebrating two incredible design collections, the National WOW Museum and Nelson Classic Cars Galleries is a ‘must see’ visitor attraction. The complex is home to several galleries showcasing a world-class collection of classic cars alongside incredible award-winning garments and works of art from the internationally renowned World of WearableArt Competition.
The Miyazu Garden celebrates Nelson's relationship with its Japanese sister city. As soon as you walk through the gate made from old timber recycled from the port, the street noise is screened out with an immediate feeling of enclosure. Still reflective ponds, trickling bamboo spouts and melodic cascades enhance the sense of serenity. Doing a circuit of the garden from the entrance you come first to the Dragon Pond, overhung by Jim's Pine, a weathered and windswept 30 year old bonsai.
Nelson City is small enough to walk around, but for access from the surrounding suburbs and around the sites and attractions of the city and region you'll likely want to rent a car, take a taxi, or rent a bike.
Bus schedules in and around Nelson.
It pays to compare your cruise line shore excursions here.
When it comes to stunning scenery and sea views, you can’t go past the Abel Tasman Coast Track. One of New Zealand’s Great Walks, it passes through golden beaches, coastal forests, with photo opportunities at every turn. Go for a dip in the water at Onetahuti Beach.
Nelson really steps things up with it's bounty of National Parks. Nelson Lakes National Park is spectacular with mountain ranges, remote lakes and an alpine pass for good measure. Choose from a range of walks, short or long, or do a spot of trout fishing at Lake Rotoroa.
Per hectare of vines planted, Nelson consistently wins more awards than New Zealand's other wine making regions. It's the perfect place for those who love a glass of sauvignon blanc, reisling or pinot gris. The area is also known for its pinot noir.
The New Zealand dollar is used in New Zealand. A few traders do accept foreign currency, particularly in tourist destinations. The conversion from US dollars to NZ dollars is approximate US$1=NZD1.30.
Automatic teller machines (ATMs), locally known as 'the hole in the wall', are available in just about every town.
English, Maori and New Zealand Sign Language are the official languages of New Zealand. English is universal, and is written with Commonwealth ("British") spelling.
The emergency telephone number in New Zealand is 111.
A free Wi-Fi service is provided by Nelson City Council on Trafalgar Street between Halifax Street and the Cathedral Steps together with some nearby streets.
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