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Nelson art, heritage & culture trail

Nelson City

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Historic Nelson viewed from Cathedral steps Historic Nelson viewed from Cathedral steps

Art galleries, fascinating heritage sites from the Victorian ornate decorative street chain on Wakefield Quay to the charming South Street heritage precinct cottages Nelson has plenty to offer visitors.



  • The Theatre Royal, the oldest operational wooden theatre in New Zealand and in the Southern hemisphere continues as the premier indoor venue for events, shows and stage performances.
  • The Suter Art Gallery Te Aratoi o Whakatū is a memorial to the second Bishop of Nelson art collection. The original heritage buildings blend seamlessly with the modern architectural form. The outstanding collection reflects 19th tastes, modern interpretations of New Zealand and continues to foster the development of emerging local artists. The complex is nestled in the Queens Gardens and nearby is the Nelson Provincial Museum.
  • Nelson Provincial Museum is a major link in a series of regional museums and collections narrating the story of Nelson.
  • Street art murals and public sculptures. The city centre walking trail is a delight with cafes and shops providing a chance to rest and revive.
Nelson Provincial Museum @NelsonMuseumNZ


  • Botanics Reserve and the Centre of New Zealand (early surveying measurements)
  • Wakefield Quay and Rocks Road Chain (Victorian decorative street feature)
  • Isel House and Park (19th century settler homestead)
  • Broadgreen Historic House and Samuels Rose Garden
  • Queens Gardens (heritage Victorian planting style)
  • Albion Square (early government buildings)
  • Anzac Park (memorial to World War I & II)
  • South Street heritage precinct (early 1920’s cottages)

For details about each location and getting around check Nelson city guide for details. The city exploration is easily walkable.


Allow three days to fully immerse yourself in the galleries, museums and cultural walking trails. This is a year round activity.


Departing Nelson you pass through Stoke and Richmond. Richmond is a major intersection with two routes.

  • Route one is Wakefield, Brightwater, Murchison and eventually the West Coast, South Island.
  • Route two follows the Nelson Tasman Bay coastline to Golden Bay Collingwood and eventually Farewell Spit. Route two offers visitors two choices: Inland Moutere Valley route terminating in Motueka OR Coastal route (including options to Mapua Wharf / Rabbit Island, Ruby Bay, Tasman Village) terminating in Motueka.


Avoid the motorway route to Motueka. Follow the side roads past orchards, rolling farmland and definitely find out what is down the end of a no exit road.

Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Richmond
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