According to commit4fitness, Nelson is the second oldest city in the country and the oldest in the South Island. It is in a region often referred to as Nelson’s Tasmania or “the pinnacle of the South”. In fact, in longitude it is only slightly north of Wellington. At the same time, the city is officially considered the “geographic center of New Zealand”. Not only that, the city is usually the sunniest on the South Island, with an average of more than 2,500 hours of sunshine per year for Nelson. See clothingexpress for Oceania territories.
The city is considered the gateway to the national parks of Abel Tasman, Kahurangi, lakes Rotoiti and Rotorua and Nelson Lakes National Park.
How to get to Nelson
There is a daily bus service to Nelson from many cities in the South Island. The city airport is the fourth busiest in the country, it receives flights from Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and other cities. By car, you will reach Nelson from Christchurch in 6 hours, from Blenham in 1.5, from Pictor in 2.
The first Maori settlements in these places appeared about 700 years ago, although evidence of earlier ones was found in the vicinity. The raids of the northern tribes quickly destroyed the local population, and in 1841 a colony founded by the New Zealand company settled here. Interestingly, a significant part of the first settlers were immigrants from Germany.
Attractions and attractions in Nelson
Founders Park is an open-air museum that began construction in 1977. It was opened to the public in 1986. It contains several typical old buildings, structures and vehicles, and a short railway line is original and still maintained in working order. Most of the historical collection was donated to the museum by the residents of the city. There are several shops on the territory of the museum where you can buy pastries and other natural products, as well as handmade items.
The museum of wearable art and classic cars has a completely different character. It opened in 2001 and quickly became one of the main tourist attractions. The museum consists of three galleries. The Wearable Art Gallery displays a variety of items from the World of Wearable Art show, a week-long event that takes place annually in Wellington in September. The show originated in Nelson in 1987 and is quite popular. The Classic Car Gallery exhibits a private collection of old cars; the exhibits are carefully restored by full-time auto mechanics. Photography is only allowed in this gallery.
The third, Reflections Art Gallery, is designed to showcase the work of contemporary New Zealand artists.
At the Nelson County Museum, learn about the region’s history, from its geological origins to the history of the first families who settled there. The museum’s collection includes about one and a half million exhibits collected over the past one and a half hundred years. These are antique furniture, dishes, porcelain and silver utensils; photographs and negatives; books, drawings and maps, etc. Suter’s art gallery is also interesting, which has a large collection of works by artists of the 19th century, including Guli, Lindauer and Van der Velden. On Saturdays admission is free.
4 things to do in Nelson:
- Stay at zero.
- Go to the unique shop at the Jens Hansen jewelry workshop. It was here that the Ring of Omnipotence from the movie was created.
- Visit one (or more) of the region’s 25 wineries.
- Go paragliding in tandem.
Nelson Cathedral was built on Church Hill in 1851, but in 1887 a new church was erected on the old site using the building materials used in the construction of the first. The third cathedral began to be built of marble in 1925 and completed only in 1965. The cathedral is adorned with a high and well-marked tower of an unusual appearance. This is a 35-meter rectangular structure with through windows. The cathedral can be reached by a beautiful granite staircase leading up from Trafalgar Street, one of the city’s main streets.
Unlike many other New Zealand cities, Nelson has many historic Victorian buildings. One of the most significant is Amber House, the oldest two-story villa in the country, which stands on Century Street. This is a traditional colonial-style building with a garden and a fireplace, which for a long time housed a school. A small patch of the original late 19th century wallpaper remains in the interior (the wallpaper has not faded thanks to New Zealand-specific levels of ultraviolet light, which is not found in any other inhabited region of the world). Another curious fact is related to the chimney, which survived several serious earthquakes (1929, 1968 and 1994) without getting a single crack.
And in the garden of Amber House grows the oldest English hazel tree in the South Island. Today, a hotel is open at Amber House.
On the same street, next door, is Cabra House, a wooden mansion built in 1897. In its interior, you can see preserved furniture from the late Victorian period. Also noteworthy is the Fairfield Mansion on Van Diemen Street, which has been given a Category 1 Importance rating by the New Zealand Trust for Historic Places. The original building was erected in 1849 and rebuilt in 1872, and today it is a very nice house with a gallery on the ground floor and a balcony on the first floor, as well as a lookout tower, added in 1883 for the then owner’s favorite hobby – astronomy. The original turret was dismantled, but then a replica was built in its place.
And the city’s central school is the oldest New Zealand school, which still functions on the site of the original building. Other buildings in Nelson that have historical and architectural value are Broadgreen House, Isel House, Melrose House, the Redwood College building in Founders Park and the windmill there, as well as the Victorian pub “Rose”.
The status of the geographic center of the country implies that near the urban center, on top of a hill, there is a “zero mark” for New Zealand. Now an observation deck with a circular view is equipped here and a corresponding memorial sign has been installed.
Nelson has many different public parks and conservation areas. The most important of these are the Grampian Wildlife Sanctuary near the Braemar district and the botanical reserve to the east of the city. The city zoo is small and is located near Tahunanui beach; it is very popular with children who can communicate with wallabies, monkeys, meerkats, llamas and alpacas here. And the Miyatsu Japanese Garden was inspired by Nelson’s Japanese sister city of the same name: it’s a traditional walking garden, very peaceful, with cherry trees that bloom in the spring.
Tahunanui Beach is one of the nicest and safest for families in the whole country. You can get here by city bus.
Nelson has a very developed culture and art. Last but not least, this applies to the many craft workshops and galleries where you can admire the works of ceramics, glass, and most importantly – a mass of carved wood items. You can buy them at the weekly Saturday market. The city’s main events are the Jazz and Blues Festival, the Kite Festival, the Yachting Regatta (all three take place in January), the Adam Chamber Music Festival (January-February), the Taste of Nelson Martfest and Festival (March), and the Winter Music Festival (July).).
At the Saturday market, which takes place in Montgomery Square from 8:00 to 13:00, of course, you can buy not only art, but also fresh food and flowers. In addition, this is a favorite place among the townspeople for a lazy brunch in one of the many cafes or coffee shops. By the way, Nelson is the largest fishing port in the country, and seafood in local catering establishments is always excellent.
Nelson is surrounded by mountains on three sides, and Tasman Bay on the fourth. The city is considered the gateway to the three national parks and lakes of Rotoiti and Rotorua. Abel Tasman National Park is famous for its clean, sheltered coastline and one of the country’s most famous hiking trails, the Abel Tasman Coastal Trail. Alpine landscapes, mountains and lakes await travelers in the Nelson Lakes National Park. And in Kahurangi Park you can touch the truly untouched nature of the country.
Thus, Nelson is a center for both ecotourism and adventure tourism. It also enjoys well-deserved fame among speleologists thanks to several cave systems near Takaka Hill and the Owen and Arthur Mountains, where you can see the largest and deepest open caves in the southern hemisphere. And north of Nelson, beyond Takaka and Golden Bay, is Faraway Spit, the longest narrow sandbar in New Zealand (25 km). It is known throughout the world as a bird sanctuary, home to more than 90 species of birds. In spring, thousands of birds from the northern hemisphere arrive here.