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About the Nelson Tasman region

Boasting golden beaches and productive tourism, wine, horticulture, aviation and fishing industries, the Nelson Tasman region often tops New Zealand’s sunshine hours.

Known as ‘the top of the south’, Nelson Tasman takes up the north western corner of the South Island. The main centre, Nelson city (population approx 100,000 in the Nelson/Tasman region) is a 5 hour drive from Christchurch. By air, Nelson is just 30 minutes from Wellington, 40 minutes from Christchurch, and 75 minutes from Auckland.

There are many reasons why Nelson is a great place to live, they include:

  • Great Climate
  • Three National Parks
  • Cycling Mecca
  • Food, Wine and Beer
  • Arts & Culture


Nelson Tasman shines with its great outdoor environment, plenty of hiking, kayaking, cruising and biking options, great retail outlets, great seafood, wine and beer, more than 300 working artists, galleries, events and fabulous weather. With beautiful reserves and national parks, there are many outdoor recreation options, from kayaking in the Abel Tasman Park to walking the Heaphy Track, one of New Zealand’s nine ‘great walks’.

The coasts and lakes are ideal for swimming, boating, sailing and fishing. The unspoilt sandy beaches of Golden Bay are popular with alternative life-stylers and holiday-makers.

The Nelson Tasman region offers some of the absolute best biking in all of New Zealand. Nelson is home to a wide variety of world class mountain bike trails.

Nelson city is vibrant and the hub of the region. The thriving local arts and craft scene includes some of New Zealand’s best visual artists, potters, glass blowers and wood carvers, and the city offers a full range of amenities including boutique shops, excellent cafes and restaurants.

Economy and industry

The region’s economy has four main drivers – horticulture, fishing, forestry and tourism.

Nelson’s port is the largest deep sea fishing port in Australasia.

Horticulture includes apples, pears, kiwifruit and hops. Viticulture and winemaking is developing strongly with craft beer brewing becoming increasingly popular.


The Nelson Tasman region has an enviable Mediterranean and sunny climate that allows visitors to explore and enjoy all year round. Average maximum summertime temperatures range from 21-24°C with the highest recorded reaching 36.3°C. Average winter maximums range around 13-14°C. Summer months have long sunny days with sunset around 8.30pm. Autumn and winter months are the best times to visit with little wind (great for sea-kayaking) and spring is great with the burst of flowers and vines making driving around the region very picturesque

For more information about the Nelson Tasman region visit

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