By Road

The Nelson Tasman region is accessible by road from Christchurch, Blenheim, Picton, the West Coast and Murchison.


The Nelson Tasman region is accessible by road from Christchurch via the Lewis Pass. A worthwhile detour from this route will take you through the alpine village of St Arnaud at the edge of Nelson Lakes National Park.

An alternative route from Christchurch brings you up the east coast through the Kaikoura and Marlborough regions.


Picton is in the heart of the Marlborough Sounds. This is where passenger ferries such as the Interislander arrive from the North Island.

A short drive over the Whangamoa Ranges takes you from Marlborough through to Nelson Tasman.

West Coast:

Travelling north on State Highway 6 from the West Coast region takes you through the spectacular Buller Gorge and into the southern area of the Nelson Tasman region. 

This brings you to Murchison and then on towards Nelson. A detour via St Arnaud and the Nelson Lakes National Park can be travelled from this southerly direction also.

East Coast:

With the road developments along the East Coast (SH1) extra time allocation is recommended when travelling to and from Nelson via Kaikoura. We advise you to check the status of any road closures prior to travelling by calling 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) or by checking the NZ Transport Agency website.

The Nelson Tasman region is well serviced with coach transport by InterCity. There are numerous transport services to help you travel around the region and the friendly staff at the Nelson i-SITE can help you with booking these services. Scenic NZ are our regional coach service. 

If you wish to make your own travel arrangements See 'Getting Around'. It pays to have a reservation in advance. 


Driving times (km driving time):

Picton to Nelson City 144km  2 hrs
Blenheim to Nelson City 117km 1 hr 45 mins
Westport to Nelson City 266km 3 hrs 15 mins
Christchurch to Nelson City 424km 6 hrs