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Favourite Cities and Hotels in New Zealand

The close to 60,000 residents of Nelson, New Zealand are a fortunate bunch indeed. Their town and region of the South Island benefits from perhaps the best and most consistent weather in the country. Toss in spectacular scenery courtesy of Tasman Bay and you have one terrific little city. Known as the “Centre of New Zealand”, Nelson is a vital economic and cultural hub, with a surfeit of recreation, events and festivals throughout the year for visitors to enjoy.

With heritage Victorian architecture and a wide variety of public parks and green space, Nelson is a joy to explore on foot. Must-see landmarks include Christ Church Cathedral, Nelson Provincial Museum and the brilliant World of Wearable Art. The Suter International Film Festival, Taste Nelson Festival and Winter Music Festival are just three of the best annual events in the city. No visit to Nelson however, would be complete without a trip to Abel Tasman National Park, a mere 50 km away.

Attractions
Christ Church Cathedral Abel Tasman National Park Nelson Provincial Museum Nelson Lakes National Park World of Wearable Art
Activities
Saturday Market Winter Music Festival Jazz Festival Taste Nelson Festival Suter International Film Festival
Restaurants
Riverside Café Sticky Fingerz Akbabas Turkish Kebab House Oceano The Grape Escape
Nightlife
The Oyster Bar 623 On the Rocks Harry's Bar Rock Bar & Night Club El Taverna

Nelson has a temperate climate, with mild conditions throughout the year.

  • Summer (December to February) 11-23°C
  • Fall (March to May) 5-21°C
  • Winter (June to September) 3-17°C
  • Spring (October to November) 6-20°C

Nelson Hotels

HotelClub

Nifty Nelson

Nelson is the oldest settled city on New Zealand’s South Island. The city’s Maori name means ‘build’, and Nelson certainly understands how to build something from nothing. Like your strange cousin who always gives you homemade soap or a papier mâché mask for Christmas, Nelson is also well known for its arts and crafts. ... Read more »

However, it’s not all crochet, incense and beading in Nelson, as the town is also surrounded by national parks, golden beaches and turquoise waters. If you visit Mount Owen, you may even recognise some of the scenery from The Lord of the Rings movies. And while in the area, pop along to Bulmer Cavern, New Zealand’s longest cave system.

Nelson is also New Zealand’s answer to hippy-esque Byron Bay, so get your tie-dyed T-shirt out, salute the sun and immerse yourself in the creative juices of this picturesque town.

NELSON’S TOP 10

10. Nelson Saturday Market Come and buy some arts and crafts directly from the artists.

5. Founders Heritage Park There are a few historic buildings here, but the real reason to visit is for the only organic brewery south of the equator.

9. Suter Gallery A large collection of art gives you an insight into the artistic blood running through this city.

4. Centre of New Zealand While it is not the exact centre it is pretty darn close, so keep your mouth shut and enjoy the view.

8. World of Wearable Art Showcases the weird and wonderful creations from the annual World of Wearable Arts Awards Show.

3. Abel Tasman National Park With swing bridges and pristine beaches, a trek through this spectacular park is a must.

7. Jens Hansen Goldsmiths They designed ‘The One Ring’ for The Lord of the Rings.

2. Nelson Lakes National Park Walk around the lakes, ski on the lakes or catch trout in the lakes.

6. Natureland Zoological Park Everybody loves monkeys, those mini hairy humans, but this park also offers meerkats and otters.

1. Kahurangi National Park Many scenes from The Lord of the Rings films were filmed here; see if you can catch yourself a hobbit.

NELSON EVENTS

With around 20 wineries represented at the Brightwater Wine and Food Festival in February, you’ll likely feel like joining in with the dancing by evening.

If you love a cold beer – and who doesn’t? – you’ll want to visit Nelson for the unique craft beers showcased at Marchfest. Which is a bit like Germany’s Oktoberfest only seven months earlier and a lot less German.

Travel back to the ’60s for March’s Festival of Opportunities, man.

If you’re feeling energetic in September, join in the Abel Tasman Coastal Classic, which will see you running on roads, trails and beach sand.

In October, the Nelson Arts Festival will keep even the fussiest cultural snob entertained with music, theatre, comedy and dance.

WHEN TO GO

• With over 2,000 hours of sunshine every year, Nelson has a reputation for having some of the best weather in NZ.

• Summer is a great time to visit, with average highs around 20ºC (68ºF) – not too hot, not too cold, but just right!

• It rains a little year-round, but the wettest time is spring.

Visit our partner page Nelson hotels by Hotel.com.au

GETTING AROUND

• The best way to explore the area is to hire a car. This will give you the freedom to visit the surrounding national parks – just watch out for hobbits!

• With only four bus routes, it would be difficult to get lost.

• Take to the sea with one of the many water taxis operating in and around the Tasman Bay.


HotelClub Blog

HotelClub Awards: The Best Hidden Kiwi Gems

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DeLorenzo's Studio Apartments Nelson
Reviewer score
4.3
out of 52 Reviews
43-55 Trafalgar Street Nelson 7010

Uniquely positioned and offering outstanding amenities in a variety of apartment configurations, the DeLorenzo's Studi... More hotel details

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Rutherford Hotel Nelson
Reviewer score
4.5
out of 52 Reviews
Trafalgar Square Nelson 7010

Rutherford Hotel Nelson captures a unique blend of the local charm and cosmopolitan sophistication... More hotel details

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Trailways Hotel Nelson
Reviewer score
4.3
out of 52 Reviews
66 Trafalgar Street Nelson 7001

Offering an irresistible blend of stylish and contemporary decor in every accommodation unit, the Trailways Motor Inn ... More hotel details

Award Finalist 2011 : Best Cellar Door
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Arcadia Motel Nelson
Reviewer score
4.7
out of 52 Reviews
36 Golf Road Tahunanui Nelson 7011

Arcadia Motel Nelson is ideally situated within easy walking distance of the shopping and entertainment venues of Nels... More hotel details

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Chelsea Park Motor Lodge Nelson
Reviewer score
4.5
out of 52 Reviews
214 Rutherford Street Nelson 7010

Chelsea Park Motor Lodge Nelson invites the guests for a comfortable stay by offering quality amenities, friendly staf... More hotel details

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Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco Hotel & Resort
Reviewer score
3.6
out of 55 Reviews
6 Point Road Monaco Nelson 7011

Setting up a new standard for elegance and style the Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco Hotel & Resort boasts of its award wi... More hotel details

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Fellworth House Nelson Hotel
Reviewer score
0
out of 50 Reviews
193 Milton Street The Wood Nelson 7010

Offering comfortable accommodations in a Victorian Italianate home with panoramic views of the city, Fellworth House N... More hotel details

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Quality Hotel Leisure Lodge Nelson
Reviewer score
3.9
out of 53 Reviews
40 Waimea Road Nelson 7010

Business and leisure travellers visiting this part of New Zealand find convenient base at the comfortable accommodatio... More hotel details

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Milcrest Estate
Reviewer score
5.0
out of 51 Reviews
114 Haycock Road Hope Nelson 7081

Boating a pleasant boutique vineyard setting, Milcrest Estate offers a wealth of facilities onsite and invites guests ... More hotel details

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Tasman Bay Backpackers
Reviewer score
0
out of 50 Reviews
10 Weka Street The Wood Nelson New Zealand 7010

With affordable rates and comfortable accommodations, Tasman Bay Backpackers makes for a suitable starting point for t... More hotel details

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