Nelson Tasman becomes the first region in New Zealand to offer visitors a Zero Carbon Travel  Itinerary

Nelson Tasman becomes the first region in New Zealand to offer visitors a Zero Carbon Travel Itinerary

Written by Charlotte Lang

Posted on Thursday 8 April 2021

Renowned for its spectacular coastal and inland landscapes, high sunshine hours and thriving natural surroundings, it is no surprise that the environment is an integral feature of any holiday in the Nelson Tasman region. And with the region being home to a number of eco-friendly businesses who have a collective passion for protecting and nurturing the environment, the Nelson Regional Development Agency (NRDA) saw an opportunity to create a travel itinerary which lets visitors choose a light footprint holiday.

The NRDA have just launched New Zealand’s, and quite possibly the world’s, first zero carbon itinerary available for travellers to choose when visiting the region.

The 4-day, 3-night Zero Carbon itinerary brings together extraordinary experiences, delectable cuisine, spectacular scenery and comfortable accommodation, and features local businesses that put sustainability at the heart of everything they do.

The idea was born from the Nelson Tasman Destination Management Plan which seeks to build on the region’s natural advantages and the efforts of local eco-friendly businesses and non-profit entities with an aspiration to be bolder in being green. The vision reflects Te Tauihu Intergenerational Strategy’s vision of Tūpuna pono, to be good ancestors and “to pass on Te Tauihu in a better state then when these taonga were placed in our care.”

The aim is to target visitors who balance their desire to explore more with the need to care more for the places they visit as a way of ensuring the region will be well looked after for generations to come.

Over the past 12-months businesses in the Nelson Tasman region have been working with local business Ekos to help measure, reduce, and offset their carbon to become certified as either zero carbon or climate positive.

All the businesses featured in the itinerary have achieved this certification, including New Zealand’s first climate positive pub! To receive the certification, businesses must first measure and reduce their CO2 emissions and offset any unavoidable emissions by buying Carbon Credits. This work was inspired by Businesses for Climate Action and their mission to have 1000 businesses across Te Tauihu measure their carbon footprint by the end of 2021.

“We are so proud of many of our local businesses who are focused on minimising their environmental impact and are taking the initiative to become zero carbon certified, along with the regional collaboration needed to get this off the ground.” says Gisela Purcell, Visitation Destination Manager at Nelson Regional Development Agency.

“It is just the beginning to our regenerative economic focus, growing our region sustainably and showcasing us as a region who really care about our environment. We know we are not perfect, but it is one step in the direction of more sustainable travel.”

Claire Keeling from Ekos says “We are thrilled that Zero Carbon tourism can now be celebrated in our region and sought out by holiday makers. It is proof that being a climate responsible business isn’t just about doing what is right – it has real and tangible business advantages too.” 

For the full itinerary please visit:

To read about the wider sustainability initiatives happening in the region:

About Nelson Regional Development Agency

The Nelson Regional Development Agency (NRDA) exists to make a difference to the future prosperity of the Nelson Tasman region through positioning, connecting and promoting the region, with a current focus on the recovery and regeneration of the region from the economic impacts of COVID-19. Everything NRDA does is guided by the Nelson Tasman identity story and is built on a strong platform of collaboration and partnership with the public and private sectors to achieve alignment, build stakeholder engagement, and drive NRDA’s role in execution. NRDA is a council-controlled organisation owned by the Nelson City Council, who is also the core funding provider. Tasman District Council also contributes funding through an agreement of expectations and funding for economic development services with the Nelson City Council.