Te Tau Ihu
A pocket of paradise in the top northwest corner of the South Island, Nelson has a positive, creative attitude to life - and it’s easy to see why.
Inspiring landscapes and all kinds of creativity
The region, which is the sunniest in New Zealand, has for many years attracted residents who love to use their imaginations. There are more than 350 working artists and craftspeople living in Nelson, including traditional and contemporary Maori artists. Their work is often inspired by the region’s exceptionally beautiful geography - coastal, forest and valley landscapes provide places to wander and dream.
The Nelson area is known by the Maori as Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka a Maui (the tip of the nose of the canoe of Maui). From his waka, the demi-god Maui used his magic fish hook to catch and land the North Island (Te Ika a Maui - the fish of Maui).
Nelson's creative community provides many opportunities for travellers to experiment with art. Workshops include glassblowing, pottery, bone carving, sculpture, authentic Maori flax weaving and cooking.
Pack your sense of adventure and explore three distinctly different national parks. Try the skywire, sea kayaking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, sailing, horse trekking or seal swimming.
Indulge your passion for exceptional eating experiences. Nelson will tempt you with alfresco cafés, fine dining restaurants, premium vineyards, boutique breweries and locally made gourmet foods.
Produced locally, the Nelson Guide Book - Art in its Own Place is full of useful information and maps of where to find arts and crafts.
It takes between 3 and 5 days to walk the Abel Tasman Coastal Track. Buy hiking supplies at Marahau or Motueka.
Even in winter, it’s likely to be sunny in Nelson. The region gets more than 2,500 hours of sunshine a year.
Nelson airport receives flights from all major New Zealand cities, as well as several provincial cities.