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. A short drive over the Whangamoa Ranges links Nelson with Picton in the Marlborough Sounds – where passenger ferries including the Interislander arrive from the North Island.

The region is well serviced with coach transport by InterCityThere are numerous road and coach services to help you travel around the Nelson Tasman region and the friendly staff at the Nelson i-SITE can help you with booking a coach service. Nelson Coachlines and Abel Tasman Coachlines are the two regional coach services. 

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

East Coast touring routes:

With the road developments along the East Coast (SH1) extra time allocation is recommended when travelling from Nelson to 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.


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