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Nelson-Tasman

Experience 

 

  • Nelson City is located at the top of the South Island. It's a coastal city with a population of a little over 50,000 that acts as the jumping point for the staggering number of natural attractions within the Nelson-Tasman Region.

    North-west of Nelson City the Abel Tasman National Park, is our smallest National Park and is know for incredible hiking trails, kayaking, camping and beaches thats to the region being one of the sunniest in New Zealand. Further South is the Nelson Lakes National Park, renown for picturesque lakes, winding rivers and fantastic hiking. Out to the east lies the Kahurangi National Park that hosts the famous Heaphy Trail, many of these areas also have excellent mountain biking for all levels.

    As if having three National Parks to choose from wasn't enough, the region is also known for the fascinating Golden Bay and Farewell Spit. If you are planning on doing some hiking, the best option is to organise a shuttle from Nelson or join a tour.

  • 1 Nelson Lakes National Park
  • 2 Abel-Tasman National Park
  • 3 Abel Tasman Coast Track (Great Walk)
  • 4 Kahurangi National Park
  • 5 Heaphy Track (Great Walk)
  • 6 Golden Bay
  • 7 Farewell Spit
  • 8 Nelson City
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Nelson Lakes National Park

Nelson City is located at the top of the South Island. It's a coastal city with a population of a little over 50,000 that acts as the jumping point for the staggering number of natural attractions within the Nelson-Tasman Region.

North-west of Nelson City the Abel Tasman National Park, is our smallest National Park and is know for incredible hiking trails, kayaking, camping and beaches thats to the region being one of the sunniest in New Zealand. Further South is the Nelson Lakes National Park, renown for picturesque lakes, winding rivers and fantastic hiking. Out to the east lies the Kahurangi National Park that hosts the famous Heaphy Trail, many of these areas also have excellent mountain biking for all levels.

As if having three National Parks to choose from wasn't enough, the region is also known for the fascinating Golden Bay and Farewell Spit. If you are planning on doing some hiking, the best option is to organise a shuttle from Nelson or join a tour.

Nelson Lakes National Park is located near the top of the South Island. Saint Arnaud is a small township located on the edge of the main lake, Lake Rotoiti. It is considered the gateway to the National Park. Many people choose to stay here before departing on the Travers Sabine Circuit. The Travers Sabine Circuit is around 80km in length and takes 5-6 days to complete. Along the trail, you’ll get to see some fantastic sights, and there’s even a side trip to the Blue Lake which holds the clearest water in the world.
With several Huts along the way to stay and you’ll get to see great views all over the National Park and experience New Zealand’s backcountry style huts. Transport can be arranged from Nelson for pick-ups and drop-offs. You can also make variations to the circuit depending on how much time you have.

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Abel-Tasman National Park

 

Abel Tasman National Park is located at the top of the South Island. Named after the famous seafarer Abel Tasman who was the first known European to sight New Zealand. He never made it ashore due to a small fight that broke out off the west coast where he was planning to come into the mainland. The park was founded in 1942 and is full of incredible natural attractions well worth visiting. Some of the top things to see and do here are hiking the Abel Tasman Coastal Track, Kayaking around Split Apple Rock or even set out for a day of sailing. 

 

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Abel Tasman Coast Track (Great Walk)

The Abel Tasman coast track is situated in the Abel Tasman National Park at the top of the South Island. With the distance of 60 km one way most people choose to do this walk between 3-5 days, and it can be done year-round. You’ll have fantastic ocean views on one side and lush beech forests on the other, you may even see a few seals along the way if you’re lucky. This track is well suited to most people as it is easy to follow well marked and not too much elevation change along the way. The Department of conservation has four huts and 19 campsites along the track these must be booked in advance year-round. There are also several boats/buses that can drop you along the track if prearranged.

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Photo Credit: Fraser Clements

Kahurangi National Park

Kahurangi National Park is located in the North-West corner of the South Island around 2 hours from Nelson. Kahurangi National Park is a real treasure to New Zealand, with its stunning coastline and lush native bush, this is the place for adventure. Massive conservation efforts go into this area as it has a very diverse ecosystem of flora and fauna are native to New Zealand. There are many tracks and backcountry huts located within the National Park, most require booking before departure as over summer can get busy. This National Park also is home to the longest Great Walk in the country the Heaphy Track!

 

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Photo Credit: Jack Austin

Heaphy Track (Great Walk)

The Heaphy Track is the longest of the nine Great Walks in New Zealand at 82km long, often taking around four days. The walk varies as is it takes you through some lovely Alpine areas and low-lying coastal track. Be sure to have the right equipment and clothing as the walk does get up to some higher altitudes near 1000metres where temperatures can be lower and weather changes more rapid. Along the way there are many backcountry huts to stay in, they all require booking before your trip well and well in advance as it does get busy over the summer months. There is an option of mountain biking this track also which takes around two days, check with local operators as can hire bikes around the area.

 

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Photo Credit: Jack Austin

Golden Bay

Golden Bay is located near the northern tip of the South Island. Golden Bay makes for a great holiday destination for many tourists and New Zealanders alike. The Terrain ranges from Golden Sandy beaches to higher alpine areas, so it’s well worth bring hiking poles and kayak. Many other activities take place around the area such as boating, fishing and swimming. With one of the significant activities being kayaking, there are several places where you can hire kayaks or guides to take you around the best spots Golden Bay has on offer. Getting to Golden Bay from Nelson takes around 2 hours by can however you can also catch buses.

 

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Farewell Spit

Farewell Spit is located at the very top left of the South Island when looking at the map. The majority of the spit is a nature reserve with only the first 4km being open for vehicle access. Past here lies 31 km of pristine sand Dunes and shrubbery hosting the perfect ecosystem to some of the most precious birds New Zealand. If you want to experience this magnificent place, some Tours run further up the spit where exclusive access has been allowed to raise awareness in the area. Many ships have been wrecked upon the spit due to its low-lying Dunes, so an automated lighthouse was Put in at the far in of the spit. The best way to access the spit is from the nearby Golden Bay where the tours run from.

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Nelson City

 

The Nelson area is based at the top of the South Island with a population of around 51,000. This area is known for being one of the sunniest spots in the country, with large surrounding hills and the Cook Straight at its base the town is set in a fantastic place.
Nelson also serves as a great adventure hub to the broader region which is full of amazing natural landscapes such as the Marlborough Sounds, Golden Bay and Farewell Spit.
Some of the Best Hikes in the Country exist within this region such as the Travers-Sabine Circuit (7days), the Heaphy Great Walk (one of 9 in NZ) and the Queen Charlotte Track. Most of the Hikes start a fair distance from the township itself. However, shuttles and rides can be arranged easily through the company’s that provide excellent service.
Top things to do around this area!
-Hiking and Cruising the Abel Tasman
-Centre of New Zealand Walk
-Travers-Sabine Circuit
-Visit Tahunanui Beach
-Heaphy Great Walk Track

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Photo Credit: Dean Mckenzie