Impossibly beautiful scenery is a great ingredient for romance. Nelson delivers in spades with scenery, attractions and adventures from adrenaline laced excitement to leisurely vineyard meals where the world slows down.
BEST TIME TO GO
Mid-December to early April. Nelson with its consistent sunny weather is a summer holiday hot spot. Year round Nelson is a great place to visit with temperatures rarely below single digits and plenty of indoor attractions.
WHERE TO TAKE THE BEST PHOTOS
SPLIT APPLE ROCK
The walk will become a shared memory as you traverse rolling farmland, native bush and the sand dunes. As you reach the dunes ridge you will have a wow moment as the sweep of the remote beach, the weathered rock formations and untouched landscape is absorbed. It is magical at sunset.
Check advice from Wharariki Beach (Archway Islands) and the walk is best completed at low tide.
STREET ART PHOTO MOMENTS
Street murals in Nelson and elsewhere. Walk down the main street in Takaka and take your pick where the two of you can pose. Takaka is the closest small town to Farewell Spit and Wharariki Beach Split Apple Rock forms. Check out What’s so great about Takaka and Collingwood for ideas on what to do together.
FIND A SLICE OF PARADISE
Visit the people’s beach in Abel Tasman National Park. The maze of waterways recedes at low tide exposing ribbons of gold sandy bars. Dip into the romance funds and helicopter to Awaroa. The scenic flight is amazing. For an additional treat stay overnight Awaroa Lodge with its pizzeria and restaurant creating a truly memorable experience.
The beach was purchased for New Zealanders in a crowdfunding campaign.
Nelson is an experienced host with adrenaline laced skydiving attractions to leisurely double kayak coastline exploration. Unique experiences include joining a tour to the northernmost tip of the South Island, Farewell Spit, or embracing a wild remote beach with its Instagram famous sculptured rock forms. Kayak to offshore islands with their resident seal colonies and arrange a bespoke picnic on a private beach.
FAREWELL SPIT, GOLDEN BAY
Experience Nelson Tasman and explore Farewell Spit. Farewell Spit is one of the world’s longest natural sand spits and a guided tour is a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the sand dune environment, wildlife, and history of this spectacular nature reserve, bird sanctuary and wetland. The tour includes the magnificent cliffs at Cape Farewell, the northernmost point of the South Island, Fossil Point, and a lighthouse tour. From the cliff tops, seals and their pups can be seen all year basking on the rocks below. Forward bookings are essential for these very popular tours. Contact. Farewell Spit Tour for details.
KAYAK ABEL TASMAN COASTLINE
An overnight kayak trip is likely to be the most amazing experience you will ever have in the outdoors. Paddling along the Abel Tasman coastline during the day and then pulling your kayak up onto a beach to camp for the night is simply magical. Golden Bay Kayaks, a local family business who can show you round their backyard. The kayaking operation has no age restrictions
- Paddle entire length of the Abel Tasman National Park
- Bespoke Eco Private tours and Luxury Packages
WINE TASTING, VINEYARDS & ARTISAN FOOD PROVIDERS
CYCLE your way through vineyards, craft breweries, cideries and artisan food stores at your pace with pre-arranged drop off and pick up organised. For inspiration about a cycling holiday check Cycling / Road trip extended weekend in Nelson for details. For couples who enjoy food tastings and a chance to meet artisan providers the inland route from Nelson to Takaka via Upper Moutere is mouth watering. A climate with over 2300 sunshine hours, clay gravel free draining soil are superb conditions for grapes. Kiwifruit, apples, pears, blackcurrants, and boysenberries benefit from the ideal growing conditions. Visitors are spoiled with choice from freshly hulled berries by roadside stalls, apple or fruit ciders produced in single origin vats to vineyards folded into the hills of Moutere. Take your time and relax as you linger over samples of sheep cheese or locally harvested olives. For ideas check out 9 Foodie experiences and a great walk.
WHERE TO EAT
BOAT SHED CAFE
In Nelson the picturesque BOAT SHED CAFE on the Wakefield Quay waterfront offers a combination of seafood award winning menu with views of Fifeshire Rock, the Boulder Bank and the family favourite Tahunanui Beach. For counter food Visitors staying in Nelson have plenty of choice from gourmet deli stores, farmers markets and cafes offering foodie treats from a counter. Check out Where To Eat in Nelson – Best Bits.
PICS PEANUT WORLD
In Stoke remember to drop into Pics Peanut World for snacks for the road and a tour of what makes great peanut butter
In Lower Moutere Riverside Cafes, established by Christian pacifists during World War II, it’s origins are an influence on the now secular and pluralist community of 60 riversiders. The food is superb, organic and largely meat free. A stunning visual feast with deliciousness in every bite.
Golden Bay Mussel Inn is a must-go. Discover one of New Zealand’s oldest pubs. Savour the taste of craft beer brewed locally, by locals. There is a boutique brewery attached to the pub crafting beer, ale and cider. The Mussel Inn is a performance venue for talented and perhaps not so talented but lots of fun entertainers. Sip your beverage of choice or perhaps try out non alcoholic lemonade and ginger beer made on the premises. The pub was established in 1980. If you want to find out what is happening nearby check out what to do at the end of the road (literally) … What’s so great about Collingwood.
Dizzying choice from the urban buzz of Nelson, cafes, shops, markets and galleries to the quiet backwater retreats of the lodges nestled among Abel Tasman National Park. For a touch of romantic luxury consider Adrift Luxury Golden Bay Accommodation. Visitors’ accommodation is perched on the water’s edge of a sheltered sandy private beach.
TRAVEL PACK INFORMATION
Cyclists pack layers just in case of a spot of rain. And the lack of shade in summer means sunscreen is necessary all year round.
For inspiration about places to go check Nelson Tasman section KIWI TOWNS and find your special place.
BEST BITS TRAVEL GUIDE