Situated at the top north-west of the South Island, Nelson is known as the sunniest region in New Zealand. Sounds like the perfect place to escape to! The 29th of January marks Nelson Anniversary Day so, in our eyes, there’s no better time to get out and explore this stunning region.
Don’t have a car to get you there or get around Nelson? Fear not, Yourdrive has got your back with hundreds of privately-owned vehicles available to rent all over New Zealand. By renting from local residents, you'll find a wider range of better-value vehicles and more pick-up locations than traditional car rental companies. You'll also get travel tips and advice from a friendly local, and it’s better for the environment!
1. Tahununi Beach
Tahununi beach is the main beach, right in the center of Nelson. It’s the perfect place to kick back on the sand and, when you get too warm, go for a swim. If you’re keen to try something new, give stand up paddle boarding a go or take kitesurfing lessons from a local pro. If you’re after some action, Nelson Fun Park, with a hydroslide, go-karts, bumper boats and mini golf, is only a stone's throw away. Also, close by is Natureland Zoo and Nelson Roller Sports Centre.
2. World of Wearable Arts & Classic Cars
With more than 50 wearable art garments and over 140 classic cars on display, the World of Wearable Arts & Classic Cars Museum is an experience like no other in New Zealand. Get close to the winning WOW garments and examine the detail of each incredible piece. You can also experience the previous shows all over again with footage from
3. Centre of New Zealand
As the name suggests, this spot was the central survey point in the 1800s. The hike up to the top is steep but, suitable for anyone who’s moderately fit. From the top, there are stunning views over Nelson and beyond, making the walk well worth it. On a hot day, pack your togs and stop for a quick dip at the Black Hole swimming hole your way down.
4. BONUS: Pic’s Peanut Butter Factory
If you love Pic’s Peanut Butter as much as the Yourdrive team, you have to pay a visit to the place where the magic is made. Take a tour of the factory to smell the scent of roasting nuts and see the Pic’s Peanut Butter making process from start to end.
5. Boat Shed Café
Cantilevered out over the water, the Boat Shed Café is the perfect place to relax at the end of a long day. Be sure to time your meal with sunset and ask for a window table. We recommend going picking a selection of starters and smaller dishes to share. If you’re not picky, go for the ‘trust the chef option’ and let the pros surprise you. Find out more here.
6. Urban Oyster Bay and Eatery
Walk in and you’ll instantly feel welcomed with open arms. The team here love Nelson and can’t wait to show you some small-town hospitality and stunning local produce. Their menu changes often depending on what’s in season and what’s got the chef’s inspired but, you can trust it’ll always be delicious. Find out more here.
7. The Sands Fish & Chip Shop
Hand-cut chips, freshly caught fish and crispy batter, just thinking about The Sand’s fish and chips is making our mouth water. Grab your order and head across the road to Tahunanui Beach for a picnic in the park or on the sand.
8. Kanuka Huts Retreat
Set amongst native bush, 15 minutes out of Nelson, these huts are the perfect place to disconnect with the world and reconnect with nature. While you’ll be off the grid, you won’t be roughing it, this property has a full kitchen, bathroom, power, and cell phone coverage. Check it out here.
9. Twin Peaks Mountain and Sea View Villa
Situated on a hill, this house has incredible views over Nelson and Tasman Bay. After a long day of exploring, relax in the outdoor spa pool and watch the sunset on the horizon. With two bedrooms, two bathrooms and open plan living, this house is perfect for a clan. Check it out here.
10. In a converted camper!
Robin and her partner converted this Toyota Estima into a campervan! It seats 5 to drive and but converts to sleep 2 overnight. Park up at the Tahuna Beach Holiday Park and make the most of their kitchen, bathroom and laundry facilities. Best of all, wake up to the sound of the waves crashing on the shore. Check it out here.
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