The Nelson Tasman region is an arts destination in it's own right, with artists and galleries stretching from the city through to the bay. So if you're looking for inspiration for your group, look no further, because we've got you covered with 1 hour, half day and full day options for everyone to enjoy.
It's incredible how much can be done with just an hour or two of downtime, especially if your conference is in or around Nelson City.
There are plenty of opportunities to get those creative juices flowing through your veins, and immerse yourself in the creative essence of the region. Take your group on a self-guided tour around the National WOW Museum, where you'll all be amazed by a stunning selection of more than 60 wearable art garments, juxtaposed alongside Australasia's largest private collection of classic cars. Or, check out the largest collection of watercolour paintings at the Suter Gallery before moving on to the Craig Potton Gallery, home to the works of New Zealand’s best-known landscape photographer.
Visit Jens Hansen, internationally acclaimed jeweller and maker of the ‘One Ring’ from Peter Jackson’s famous movies, then pop down the road to find out more about the diverse regional history at the Nelson Provincial Museum, or take a stroll down the cobblestones of New Zealand's oldest fully-preserved heritage street. If you're lucky enough to be in the City on a Saturday morning, you can't go past the iconic weekend market in Montgomery Square, renowned for its delicious artisan stalls and spectacular creations.
A half day is the bare minimum recommended for any delegate or incentive travel activity as there’s just so much to do!
After exploring the culture of the central city in the 1-2 hour itinerary above, take your group aboard Nelson Coachlines for a whistlestop tour of the regions arty highlights. Browse the wearable art garments at the National WOW Museum in Stoke, and then watch glass-blowing in action at the iconic Hoglund Glassblowing Studio, which has been a visitor attraction here for nearly four decades. Spend a couple of hours visiting the friendly Moutere Artisan community, home to leading ceramic artists, sculptors and wood workers.
You’ll need sustenance along the way and there’s certainly no shortage in the Moutere – amongst the samplings of excellent wine, sheep cheese and olive oils, you can also stop for lunch at a vineyard restaurant or café. Time permitting, you may like to complete the loop by stopping in at the boutique seaside town of Mapua on your way back through, to browse through the authentic cool-store galleries and gift stores.
A full day in the region means you can enjoy the half day itinerary above and add on some extraordinary food and beverage experiences.
Leaving the National WOW Museum, you could take a group tour of the famed Pic's Peanut Butter World, watching as these much-loved peanuts are roasted, tumbled and squeezed into red star jars, ready to be shipped to peanut-butter lovers the world over. Alternatively, you could indulge in a tasting platter of artisan beer and cider at McCashins Brewery in the historic Rochdale Cider factory, kicking back to enjoy lunch in their sunny beer garden.
After marvelling at the works of the Moutere Artisans, why not taste all that is excellent about New Zealand wine, trailling from the rolling Moutere Hills back to the Waimea Plains? Each renowned for their distinctive sub-climate and terrior, famous brands like Neudorf Vineyards and Seifried Estate promise an indulgent, yet unique, cellar door experience.
Dedicating a full day to exploring the extraordinary arts and artisans of the Nelson Tasman region also allows for full enjoyment of the quintessential Mapua, and the boutique art and craft shops that characterise the area. Home to a range of quality restaurants, a sophisticated wine bar, a craft brewery, berry good real fruit icecream and famously fabulous fish and chips, you're all set for an evening by the waterfront watching as the sun descends across the horizon.