Activities in the
Nelson Tasman Region

Welcome to the Top of the South!

In the Nelson Tasman area we are blessed with the most sunshine hours in the country!

Paired with stunning natural landscapes, lakes, mountains, rivers, native bush and beaches, this invites to plenty of outdoor and adventure activities. But wait – there’s more!

Check in on the vibrant culture and arts scene, the region’s award-winning, artisan food and drink products, golf, fishing, you name it!

Abel Tasman Coastal Track

The Abel Tasman National Park is New Zealand’s smallest but most popular national park, and the Coastal Track is renowned as one of the country’s Great Walks.

Catch a water taxi to head into the park and enjoy the golden beaches, lush native bush and stunning coastline. Have a beach day and lunch at Awaroa Lodge or go for an up to 4-hour long walk before catching a taxi back.

Less than an hour from here, this is one of the most popular day trip options amongst our guests. We can book this for you!

Kayak in crystal clear bays

Hire a kayak for the day or join a guided tour into the heart of the Abel Tasman National Park.

Cruise into Torrent Bay, then kayak some of the most scenic parts of the coast. Your guide designs each day to make the most of tides, weather conditions and the sightings of seals, dolphins and other wildlife in the park.

You can combine this with a walk via Cleopatra’s Pool to Anchorage, where you catch a boat back.

We can advise you on the best trip and book this for you!

Sailing adventures

Join with others or enjoy a private charter to explore and enjoy the beauty and sights of the stunning Abel Tasman National Park or the Nelson Bays on a comfortable sailing catamaran.

There are plenty of options, whether for a few hours or whole day on the water. You can even combine your sailing day with a spot of kayaking or walking in the Abel Tasman National Park.

Tell us your preference and we can find the best option for you!

Beaches and swimming holes

We have some of the most stunning beaches in the country within a 40min radius.

Spend a day at beautiful Kaiteriteri beach or check out neighbouring St. Stephen’s Bay, one of our favourites! The vast beach of Rabbit Island is only 15 minutes away, or if you like it more urban and with a great children’s playground, try Tahunanui beach!

There are also great swimming holes in local rivers, like the Roding river, just a few minutes from here.

Walks and tracks

We have a diverse range of well-maintained trails and tracks to suit every fitness level.

Whether you’re looking for a high alpine mountaineering challenge or a short family stroll, our region is a paradise for anyone who enjoys the great outdoors.

From our local Whispering Falls walk, a stroll along the beach at Rabbit Island or whole day adventures in the Nelson Lakes or Kahurangi National Parks – the choice is yours!

We have an extensive list of recommendations and are happy to help!

The Great Taste Cycle Trail

The Great Taste Cycle Trail loops around Nelson Tasman’s finest coastal and rural areas.

It treats riders to an array of extraordinary sights and experiences, from cellar doors and vineyards, to waterfront dining and galleries, all the way to historic rail tunnels and riverside routes.

Either bring your own bike, or we can arrange bike hire for you, to ride along the coast of Rabbit Island, Mapua Wharf and the Ruby Coast hills or through the vineyards to Brightwater, Wakefield and historic Spooner’s Tunnel.

Mountain biking

Rated as a Gold Ride Centre, our region is one of only six places in the world where you can experience the true meaning of mountain biking paradise.

Whether you’re seeking the flow of Codgers, descending the steep slopes of Wairoa Gorge, savoring the spectacular scenery at the Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park or exploring the native forest at Involution, you’ll be spoilt for choice! Silvan and Kingsland Forest (Richmond Hills) are just around the corner.

We’re happy to help you with your bike hire.

Fishing

Whether you prefer the experience of boat fishing, or tossing your line in from the seashore, riverbank or one of the region’s many fishing piers, Nelson Tasman is every angler’s dream.
 
Relax and take a load off, while you soak up the views of our stunning natural landscapes, and catch yourself some snapper, kahawai, kingfish or brown trout, or gather a fresh feed of mussels and scallops.
 
We can recommend a sea fishing charter for you or hook you up with a local trout fishing guide! 

Golf

Our courses mirror the stunning natural landscapes the region is renowned for, a favourite for Kiwis and visitors alike.

We have links courses with sweeping sea and estuary views, hilltop stunners, parkland and valley charmers and quiet rural gems.

Unlike other regions, our golf courses are affordable for everyone, with green fees typically ranging from $20 to $50.

You can be sure of a friendly welcome and for most of the year bookings are not essential. 

Adrenaline junky adventures

We have the best canyoning experiences in the country, where you can abseil down granite canyons and spectacular waterfalls, zip through unspoiled rainforest and land in some of the purest water in Aotearoa. Alternatively, if free-falling from the sky is your idea of exhilaration, skydiving is a truly spectacular and unique experience. Soar over three national parks while you revel in the breath-taking scenery of turquoise oceans, golden beaches, mountain vistas, orchards and vineyards.

Wineries and cellar doors

Nelson produces exceptional wines across a range of varieties from our two unique and diverse sub-regions of The Plains and The Hills with more than 20 cellar doors. 

Enjoy outstanding Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and aromatics, as well as an impressive mix of emerging varieties. Some wineries provide lunch or offer amazing meals.

We’re based right on the edge of The Plains, within easy cycling distance of eight wineries.

Let us help you design your own itinerary or book your winery tour!

Nelson’s Saturday Market

The Nelson Market is recognized throughout New Zealand for its fine produce and quality artistry. Shop for fresh produce or gourmet foods or share brunch under the warm Nelson sun.

The market is held at Montgomery Square in the heart of Nelson every Saturday from 8am until 1pm.

Don’t worry if you missed the market – there’s also a market in Motueka every Sunday.

Craft breweries

Beer has been central to the Nelson region’s local culture, dating back to the 1840s.
 
In this region we produce all of New Zealand’s commercial hops, a premium product on the world market.
 
Craft breweries of all sizes now stretch from Nelson to Golden Bay. They make a perfect excuse for a half- or full-day tour exploring the region.
 
There are five boutique breweries are within easy cycling distance from us. We are happy to point you towards towards our favourites or book a bespoke brewery tour for you.

Cheese & other artisan foods

Our region is home to some stunning cheeses from both sheep and cows milk.

Artisans produce gourmet mushrooms, crush rich olives for fresh and peppery olive oil. They make local conserves using plums, blackberries and boysenberries, bottled in the Upper Moutere village. Try artisan’s sausages, salami and smoked duck!

Either visit these artisan producers directly or sample their products at one of the markets or at Connings or The Junction Cheese Shop.

Arts & crafts

Nelson Tasman is home to one of the largest number of working artists in the country.
 
Royce McGlashen’s pottery studio in Brightwater, the famous Hoglund Glassblowing studio in Appleby and iconic Jens Hansen’s jeweller’s workshop in Nelson – just to mention some of the better known names!
 
Whatever your interest, we are more than happy to point you in the right direction for your explorations!

Restaurants and cafes

The number of really good restaurants in our area is astonishing!

From the most amazing Fish’n Chips in Mapua Wharf, The Villa in Wakefield or Grape Escape in Appleby to the famous Boat Shed Cafe or Hopgoods in Nelson, there is something for everyone!

We have an extensive list of recommendations and are more than happy to help you choose places that suit your preferences.