The Nelson Tasman region itself is highly connected with over 650 flights in and out of the brand new and busy as ever Nelson Airport. The Abel Tasman National Park is the most recognised attraction of the region but once you’re here, there are plenty of other places to explore. We’ve put together some information on our top 10 free things to do in Nelson Tasman below.
1. VISIT RIUWAKA RESURGENCE
Te Puna o Riuwaka is of particular cultural significance to the people of Te Atiawa and Ngāti Rārua, who recognise it as wāhi tapu, a sacred place. Ask any local and they’ll tell you that the Riuwaka Resurgence is a special place. Need we say more? Enjoy it for yourself but don’t spread the word.
2. ENJOY FISH & CHIPS IN
The waterfront in Māpua is unbeatable. And the fish and chips from The Smokehouse are as good as it gets.
3. WALK THE MOTUEKA INLET
4. STROLL THE MARKETS
5. GAZE AT THE WAINUI FALLS
If you do the decent thing and make it over the Takaka Hill to explore Golden Bay, then you must visit the Wainui Falls. It’s roughly an hour’s return walk but the incredible experience of standing in front of the falls is a sensation that you are unlikely to forget in a hurry. It’s very good for the soul!
6. BIKE THE GREAT TASTE TRAIL
We recommend the Motueka to Kaiteriteri leg of the trip to maximise the views. The Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park is truly world-class. But be warned – no trip on the cycle trail is complete without a pie from Ginger Dynamite, ice cream from Thomas Bros and a rigger of ale from Hop Federation!
7. SWIM IN THE MOTUEKA SALTWATER BATHS
The Motueka Saltwater Baths are a gem. On a good high tide, the baths turn into an infinity pool looking out to the ocean’s horizon. There are also BBQs for hire nearby if you’d like to make an evening of it!
8. VISIT MOTUEKA MUSEUM
Did you know that Motueka once had a thriving tobacco trade? The history of the area is truly fascinating and some great local stories are accessible for free via the humble Motueka Museum on High Street.
9. WALK UP THE CENTRE OF NEW ZEALAND
The geographical centre of New Zealand just happens to be a fantastic view across the Tasman Bay. On a clear day, you will be able to make out the Abel Tasman clearly. It’s an iconic short walk that is not to be missed while you’re in the region!
10. VISIT THE SUTER ART GALLERY
Last but certainly not least! Particularly important if you’re here on a rainy day, the Suter Art Gallery in Nelson is worth the trip. They have rotating exhibitions, a great shop and a cafe on site. While you’re there, take a stroll around the beautiful Queens Gardens.