Visit these local ‘hot’ spots this winter
Posted on Friday 7 August 2020
It’s the perfect season for a fun-filled break to reset and refocus, and there’s no place quite like Nelson Tasman to escape the ordinary this winter. Arts and artisan experiences are still on offer, and the abundance of local galleries, wineries and craft breweries give visitors something to do even when the winter weather is a little cooler. Evenings call for cosying up in front of the fire at our award-winning restaurants, with comfort food and hot chocolates galore.
Read on to discover some of these local ‘hot’ spots to keep you toasty this winter.
Grab a bite to eat at one of Nelson Taman's delicious restaurants for fire-side dining experiences.
Foodies will feel right at home exploring the bustling food scene in Nelson Tasman. With an array of restaurants, bars and cafes, there's no shortage of places to grab a bite. The picturesque landscape, paired with the overwhelming amount of high-quality establishments which carry seasonal, locally sourced produce, creates the perfect winter dining experience. If you’re hoping to cosy up next to an open fire whilst sampling what the region has to offer, visit The Freehouse, Harry’s Hawker House and Bar, Milton St Sprig & Fern or Rimu Wine Bar to name but a few.
Enjoy a pint or two from one of our talented local brewers
Nelson Tasman is known as the craft brewing capital of New Zealand – and a top contender for the best cider city, globally. As we grow 100% of New Zealand’s hops here in the region, you'll never be short of places to find a brew. Take a sip of a delicious craft beer at the Sprig & Fern Brewery, McCashins Brewery, Mussel Inn or The Free House, and see what all of the fuss is about!
Fancy a wine?
You could spend a day basking in the winter sun at one of Nelson Tasman's 21 incredible cellar doors. Home to some of the most stunning backdrops New Zealand has to offer you'll want plenty of time to soak it all in. Explore from the Waimea Plains to the famous Moutere Hills, sampling your way through their delicious Riesling, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc options, finishing with a tour of Gravity Winery and tasting straight from the barrels. Or, give your taste buds the full Top of the South experience, and enjoy a toasty mulled wine with divine local cuisine at a nearby restaurant.
Murchison's Natural Flames Experience
One of New Zealand’s best kept secrets and tucked away deep in the bush outside Murchison is an "eternal flame" - well, near enough. Burning virtually non-stop for almost a century, it's a seepage of natural gas that was lit by a couple of curious farmers who followed their noses while out hunting. The flames have been flickering beneath the fern leaves ever since - and they're now the highlight of a four-hour outing that leaves from Murchison twice a day, making ‘billy’ tea over the flames and cooking pancakes topped with bush-honey! Check it out here.
Rewind at the Uplift Float Centre
A little bit of rest and relaxation is good for the soul, and the floatation tanks at Uplift Float Centre are the perfect place to relieve your body and your mind of any daily stresses you may have on a cold winters day. With options for couples, you'll feel complete weightlessness as you float in a pod filled with over 500kg of epsom salts.
Book into the Kimi Ora Eco Resort
Kimi Ora means "Seek health" in Te Reo Māori - and it is at the Kimi Ora Eco Resort you will find it. Nestled amongst 12 hectares of tranquil hillside bush, Kimi Ora Eco Resort overlooks the golden sands of Kaiteriteri beach and is right on the doorstep of the popular Abel Tasman National Park. The resort has an indoor/outdoor pool, indoor and outdoor spa, sauna, and an exquisite steam room to escape the winter chills and keep everyone feeling cosy, warm and relaxed.
Lay back and Dine with Erban Spa
A boutique-styled day spa, devoted to wellbeing and conveniently located within walking distance of Nelson’s city centre you can combine warm relaxation with fine dining. Completely treat yourself or a loved one with an Erban Signature Bliss Massage or Antipodes Organic Facial followed by an exquisite set menu for two at Nelson Tasman’s renowned Hopgood’s restaurant. Hopgood’s Restaurant offers a true fine dining experience in the most intimate setting, located just steps away from Erban Spa on Trafalgar Street.
Visit Pic’s Peanut Butter World
Savour a warm welcome and join a group of peanut butter enthusiasts at Pic’s World of Peanut Butter - where kids of all ages (including the big adult ones) can tour the new factory and watch as the peanut butter makers crush, roast, pump and seal the delicious Pic’s Peanut Butter spread we all know and love. Little pic’sters can try their hand at creating their own, whilst the adult pic’sters can grab a coffee at the on-site café or browse the international collection of peanut butter mementoes and products at the gift shop.
Discover Nelson Tasman’s array of Art Galleries:
Creative people thrive here and that’s reflected in Nelson Tasman’s abundant arts community. Many of our celebrated artists, sculptors, jewellers, potters and ceramic artists have studios you can visit or are represented at many unique galleries dotted around the region.
Idle away time while visiting the Suter Art Gallery, one New Zealand’s oldest cultural establishments - the modern architecture of the gallery is almost as fascinating as it’s exhibitions, with a range of fascinating collections spanning over 200 years. Red Gallery is a cute little coffee shop come art and giftware shop, while Wall to Wall Art gallery is a collective space of 12 passionate local artists.
Saligia Art Gallery-Studio is Nelson's top working studio and contemporary art gallery with a wide range of fine art, contemporary oil paintings and assemblages. With many, many more hubs of local creativity to explore on a winters day you can see the selection of galleries here.
Catch that film you’ve been meaning to see
Of course, a cooler winters day is the perfect opportunity to snuggle in and catch the latest film at the cinema. Here in Nelson Tasman, locals and travellers alike flock to State Cinema 6, Nelson’s 9 screen cinema complex to see the latest blockbusters, film festival releases and arthouse films while munching on some warm buttery popcorn.
Work up a sweat on the water, paddle boarding or sea kayaking
The calm waters, easy beach access and snow-capped mountains decorating the background of Moana Paddle Nelson’s base makes Tahunanui Beach the perfect place to have a go at stand-up paddleboarding or sea kayaking. Whether you are a first-timer or a seasoned professional, you’re sure to love your time out in the “Haven.” Fifeshire Rock, Haulashore Island and the Boulder Bank are all a short paddle from the sand. Plentiful sea birds and marine life such as southern fur seals, eagles and stingrays are common, so there’s always something to keep you coming back for more!
Visit Lake Rotoiti, hit the slopes and finish by dining fireside
With toasty fire-side dining, unwind and soak away the aches of a day spent on the snow at the Alpine Lodge. The lodge, situated at 640 metres above sea level nestled amongst the impressive St Arnaud Range with breath-taking winter wonderland scenery is the perfect place to base yourself while visiting Lake Rotoiti. This popular spot is a short drive to the nearby Rainbow Ski Field, which offers a diverse selection of slopes and snow-based activities for all ages and skill levels.
Roam the Nelson Classic Car Museum
Whether you’re a car-fanatic or not, the Nelson Classic Car Museum is an iconic visitor attraction that celebrates design and is the perfect winter-day activity for the whole family to enjoy. As you move from room to room, you'll be amazed by one of Australasia's largest collections of veteran, vintage and classic cars, before finishing off with a bite to eat in the cozy Little Engine Room Eatery. [Opening September].
Stay in luxury this winter
Soak in a secluded hot tub surrounded by mountains and a rushing river at Maruia River Retreat - the perfect place for some relaxation and rejuvenation. Or, The Resurgence Luxury Eco Lodge also offers a unique wilderness experience where evenings are best spent in your private bush bath, set in 50 acres of native forest, or at dinner with a bespoke garden to table experience tailored by the on-site chef. Nearby, in the secluded Orinoco Valley, Edenhouse is a 6-star luxury lodge set within beautiful grounds whilst the Tasman cliffs are home to Te Koi The Lodge at Bronte. Experience an outdoor hot tub and sauna with panoramic views for the ultimate relaxation at Split Apple Lodge. For some exclusive me-time enjoy their private massage studio, offering beautiful views in the native bush.