Nelson Tasman is a highly attractive destination for events of all sizes, but don’t take our word for it. Here is what some event managers and organisers have to say about their experience of the region, including the range of purpose-fit, unique venues on offer here, the extraordinary climate, friendly regional support and ease of accessibility.

Nelson Tasman really turns on the sun and it hasn’t disappointed in the two years we’ve held our Ocean Swim event there in March. Warm and sunny with that often-welcome afternoon breeze makes it just wonderful for our event. Holding it at Tahunanui Beach has meant we have fantastic viewing from Rocks Road, hundreds of swimmers in that stretch of water creates quite a spectacle! The wide-open space of this beach also means we can easily fit our event infrastructure onto the beach and still have plenty of room to move.

Nelson Tasman is accessible via both ferry services and our event site itself is close to Nelson Airport. All amenities are also generally a short drive away, and accommodation is available very close to our event. This accessibility is immensely beneficial.

The support from the Nelson Tasman region has been incredible. From our very first site visit in June 2017, we have felt welcomed and supported by all organisations from a compliance and funding perspective. We have not encountered any road-blocks at all.
- Lauren Harrod, Operations Manager Ocean Swim Series
We worked with the Nelson Regional Development Agency, the Councils and NZ Rugby to bring the first ever All Blacks test match to Nelson Tasman and I can say that without Mark Rawson and his team at the NRDA there would have been no All Black’s event here. They were amazing on every front.

The time of year paid off, September in Nelson gave us the window we needed of settled weather to encompass the event and surrounding community engagement activities over a week and wasn’t too cold for the international teams and visiting spectators.

Trafalgar Park’s proximity to the city centre and the associated city centre grass roots rugby festival activation was incredibly convenient. The region really got behind the event and came out in full force including those from the wider Nelson Tasman areas. Getting teams and guests into and around the region was easy with superb access and transport.
- Tony Lewis, CEO Tasman Rugby Union
Nelson is an excellent all year-round holiday destination which has the benefit of enhancing the experience for visitors coming to the region for a specific purpose. As an example, we take our VIP concert goers on special trips to local places of interest which prove most popular. Many of our attendees stay for the full 10 days of the festival and having accommodation within short walking distance is a great convenience.

Chamber music is a specialist area of interest, but because of our dedicated focus on chamber music in the Festival, audiences travel here from all around New Zealand and overseas, in fact 20% of our audiences travel here for the Festival from outside New Zealand. This is helped by how easy it is to get to the region - we market to our Australian audiences that Nelson Tasman is as easy to access as any other regional destination in Australia.

We are fortunate in Nelson Tasman to have one of the finest concert halls for chamber music in the Southern Hemisphere. This means our visiting musicians and audiences enjoy concert experiences with second to none acoustics. Additionally, the Nelson Centre of Musical Arts was recently redeveloped and is now the perfect venue in which to produce music festivals. Seating 300 makes it ideal for the specialist nature of our festival.
- Bob Bickerton, Manager Adam Chamber Music Festival
With over 70 teams attending South Island Secondary Schools Netball tournament you need a good venue and a variety of accommodation that can cope with these numbers, plus their supporters.

On the venues front, the Trafalgar Centre is a fantastic venue for the region and the teams love playing there. We are also incredibly fortunate to have Saxton Stadium and the outside courts for secondary school and representative tournaments. Having all those courts plus the pavilion in one location means you can provide a great venue for a number of teams to attend an event.

As for accommodation, there’s plenty available at different price ranges and with good proximity to the venues. Nelson is easy to get to with flights. Once here, everything is centralised and easy to get around.

The Nelson Regional Development Agency were a great help in ensuring that SuperClub was able to be hosted here in Nelson Tasman for three years. This would not have been possible without assistance in facilitating the contract with Netball NZ and helping us through the event funding process. NRDA have also assisted with some funding for the Mainland Tactix team to travel to play in Nelson Tasman each year for three years, which helps offset the financial cost and loss on ticket sales to bring a game to Nelson rather than just play in Christchurch.
- Julie Baxendine, General Manager Intepeople
The venue spaces we utilised in Nelson worked really well for all our events. Nelson was a great host city and we felt the council and the community really got behind our events. There are plenty of accommodation options around the region and the well serviced airport made it an easy location to operate from.
- Toby Burrows, Director Bay Dreams Festival
On 8 September 2018 Trafalgar Park in Nelson hosted their first ever All Blacks Test with a capacity crowd of 21,404 witnessing an entertaining match as the home team defeated the Puma’s 46-24.

The many and varied challenges of hosting an All Blacks Test were navigated by a committed joint operational team from NZ Rugby and Tasman Rugby Union in the months and weeks leading up to match day. This resulted in an event delivered largely free of any significant issues, with the vast majority of the crowd going home having thoroughly enjoyed their evening.

The city of Nelson, and all those who played a part, are to be commended on how they supported the test match with the activations in the city centre in particular being a real point of difference in the way it brought the event to life outside the venue itself and by embracing the wider community. This unique occasion will live long in the memories of those who worked on the event and those who attended the match as fans.
- Dan Tatham, Head of Operations New Zealand Rugby
You can usually rely on Nelson Tasman’s great settled weather but regardless, having Founder’s Heritage Park as a venue means we have the large indoor Energy Centre which negates rain impact. Founders is a unique space and we are able to create a special event with the New Zealand Cider Festival that is family friendly. Having the ability to bring in our own local suppliers means we can truly make it an authentically local, sustainable event which attracts 60% out of town attendees.

Nelson Tasman is a great place to visit and this event gives locals an excuse to invite friends and family. Having competing airlines and over 400 flights per week is a plus, as it gives people with a range of budgets the opportunity to visit. Our target markets of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch have direct flights to Nelson.

We couldn’t have incubated and grown this event to the success it is today without the support of the Nelson Regional Development Agency in accessing the NCC Nelson Events Fund. Their assistance with accessing cost effective advertising also helps maximise our marketing budget.
- Lea Boodee, Director Nelson Venues and Events
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