Nelson Abel Tasman Golden Bay New Zealand

Nelson City is the capital of the Nelson Region that incorporates the Abel Tasman National Park and Golden Bay. Tasman Bay with its north facing aspect provides a relatively sheltered environment for its port, town and small coastal settlements. It is protected to the east by the peninsulas and islands of the Marlborough Sounds, and to the west by the Abel Tasman headland and Farewell Spit.

Fruit growing, predominantly apples but also including hops and historically tobacco, has been a mainstay of the region and these days includes grapes for wine making. Take a wine tasting tour to ensure you sample the best the region has to offer. The Nelson Region is also synonymous with crafts, being home to a large number of artisans, in particular potters and notably the exporting glass ware company of Hoglund Art Glass.

Accessible as a day trip from Nelson, or from a base closer to the park, such as the Motueka area, you can visit the Abel Tasman National Park. The park is known for its calm clear waters, sandy beaches and the Abel Tasman Walkway. Accommodation is available within the park as part of an Abel Tasman experience. Popular multi-day trips can be done as walking and/or kayaking options, or experience a bite sized piece of the action with a day walk on the track, or a one day kayak along part of the coastline where you may even visit some seals.

Separated from the rest of the region by the Takaka Hill lies Golden Bay with its sweeping crescent beach. From the top of Takaka Hill there is a spectacular view across Golden Bay to Farewell Spit and the bush clad ranges of the Kahurangi National Park. At Farewell Spit you can take a four wheel drive tour to view the multitude of seabirds that make this area home either year round or as part of their migratory journey. Golden Bay has a good representation of potters operating from studios dotted around the greater bay area.