"Northern part of the South Island" Top 5 Page for this destination Nelson/Tasman by vtveen

Nelson/Tasman Travel Guide: 290 reviews and 657 photos


Nelson is one of the oldest settlements in New Zealand. Nowadays it is the capital of the northern part of the South Island and the gateway for visiting Abel Tasman National Park and Golden Bay.

Nelson has an interesting shopping centre with Trafalgar Street as most important. The city is well known for its art galleries.

At the end of Trafalgar Street lies Church Hill, with the Cathedral overlooking the city. This is one of the must see sites. The church is built of marble from Takaka.

We (Dutchies) were more or less proud to find a statue of Abel Tasman, the discoverer of New Zealand. This statue was unveiled in the year 2000.

Abel Tasman National Park - Golden Bay

As said Nelson is a good starting point visiting Abel Tasman National Park and the Golden Bay area. The national park is about 1 hour drive north west of the city along the Tasman Bay.

Abel Tasman National Park is the smallest of the national parks in New Zealand, but it has a lot to offer. It is just the mixture between the golden beaches, the christal clear sea, sealife and the native bush, which attracts lots of tourists.
Most importants townships are Motueka, Kaiteriteri and Marahau.

Golden Bay and Farewell Spit are another hour drive from Motueka and offer some very remote beaches and nice quiet towns like Takaka and Collingwood.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:amazing scenery, lots of sunshine
  • In a nutshell:discovered by a Dutchman, do it by your own
  • Last visit to Nelson/Tasman: Feb 2004
  • Intro Updated Apr 2, 2008
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“"The beauty lies in the travelling, not in the destination" (The Convent Inn, Val Marie SK, Canada)”

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