Nelson - Tasman
The Nelson-Tasman region is blessed with an incredibly diverse natural beauty, offering no less than three of the finest National Parks in the country. From the golden beaches of Abel Tasman National Park, dramatic and lush rainforests in Kahurangi National Park, to the alpine environment of Nelson Lakes National Park, this region has it all. The area around Nelson is also one of the sunniest in the country, due to the protecting surrounding hills, so it's a popular region with travelers.
Nelson is the South Island's second largest city, noted for its fruit-growing industry in the Motueka Valley, wineries and micro-breweries. It also has an energetic local arts and crafts community with local artists exhibiting their products on the famed Nelson market every Saturday. Nearby Rabbit Island boasts great swimming beaches, boating fishing and forest walks.
Further west, Motueka is the centre of a green tea, hops and fruit-growing area, and is a good base to explore the nearby parks. The drive over Takaka Hill takes you into Golden Bay, whre you may find the biggest cave in the Southern Hemisphere as well as New Zealand's largest freshwater spring, the Waikoropupu Springs, simply called "Pupu Springs", with reputedly the clearest water in the world.
Kahurangi and Nelson Lakes National Parks offer excellent hiking trails well off the main tourist trail, and are becoming increasingly popular for this particular reason. But by far the most popular National Park is Abel Tasman National Park. It is truly a coastal paradise and also easily accessible. Water taxis departing from Marahau or Kaiteriteri can drop you off at any location in the park, and it is therefore also a popular option for families traveling with children wanting to hike only part of the Great Walk, or just spend a few nights at one of the campgrounds and enjoy the golden beaches.
Things you shouldn't miss in Nelson-Tasman
- Spend some time in 3 fantastic National Parks : Abel Tasman National Park, Kahurangi National Park and Nelson Lakes National Park
- Visit the Pupu Springs in Takaka, with the clearest waters in the world.
- A trip to Farewell Spit in Golden Bay.
- Visit the Nelson market, one of the most famous in the country
- A heli flight in Kahurangi National Park
- Sea-kayaking in Abel Tasman National Park