Nelson/Tasman Region

Tasman is the region covering the northwestern tip of New Zealand’s South Island. It stretches across Golden Bay and Tasman Bay, which open to the Tasman Sea. The region is one of beautiful sandy beaches and rugged mountains. It is also a very fertile region, rich in horticulture.

Kyaking in Tasman National Park

Kyaking in Tasman National Park

Nelson is the main city in the region and home to New Zealand’s largest fishing fleet. It is a picturesque, vibrant and artistic city with one of the most envied climates in New Zealand. It has an excellent art gallery, art and craft shops and numerous fine cafes, restaurants and bars. The long golden sands of Tahunanui beach are popular in the summer months. The city hosts the world famous annual Wearable Art Awards, a festival of alternative fashion, which attracts entries from around the world. There is a permanent exhibition of previous winners in the city.

One of the many coves in Abel Tasman National Park Snorkeling in the Abel Tasman National Park
Abel Tasman National Park Abel Tasman National Park

In the south of the region is St Arnaud on the shores of Lake Rotoiti. This small town is the gateway to the stunning Nelson Lakes National Park, a mountainous region with walking tracks and huts, aquatic activities on its lakes, and skiing in the winter months.

On the region’s northern shores is some of the country’s most beautiful coastline. The Abel Tasman National Park is a picturesque series of golden sandy beaches and inlets, backed by forested hills. The park is a popular destination for kayakers and trampers. Water taxi services that operate in the park enable visitors to enjoy a short stroll along its coastline as well as longer overnight trips.

In the west of the region, the town of Takaka is the main centre for Golden Bay, the area that borders the bay of the same name. This small rural settlement attracts artists, crafts people and those seeking an alternative lifestyle. It has a selection of excellent cafes, art and craft shops, art galleries and a museum. It is also the northern gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park. The town is also a base for those wishing to explore the mountainous Kahurangi National Park. The park is an adventure lover’s paradise, with caving, fishing, rafting and a network of walking tracks and huts. The popular Heaphy Track is a 4-6 day walk in the west of the park which ends at Karamea on the West Coast.

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