Inspiring landscapes, boutique food and drink
and a vibrant arts scene
Nelson’s sunny environment inspires a dynamic arts scene, with painters, glassmakers, sculptors and fashion designers showing their work at studios and galleries in and around the city. You can visit the workshop of Jens Hansen, creator of the “One Ring” from the Lord of the Rings movies, and see vivid glass creations being blown at the renowned Höglund Glass Gallery. WOW is a museum with two very distinct collections: the World of Wearable Art features outlandish fashion, while the Nelson Classic Car Collection exhibits iconic autos spanning 100 years.
With perfect growing conditions, Nelson Tasman is New Zealand’s hops garden and craft brewing capital. Its cider is world-renowned, while valley vineyards yield flavoursome Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Artisan food producers tempt with breads, chocolates, jams and charcuterie, while oysters, scallops and mussels feature prominently on the region’s menus.
Tasman’s Great Taste Trail takes cyclists past vineyards, breweries and restaurants on the coast and inland. Abel Tasman National Park is renowned for its golden beaches and sculpted cliffs, and can be explored on land or from the water. Look out for little blue penguins or fur seals while kayaking in sheltered bays.
The Abel Tasman Coastal Track winds around headlands and through dense native forest ringing to the calls of tui and bellbirds, before emerging onto secluded sandy beaches. Further afield, thrill seekers can go whitewater rafting near Murchison, speed in a jet boat through Buller Canyon or see both the North and South islands from the air on a skydive.