Here in Nelson Tasman, we know how to enjoy summer, and the long days and warm nights from December through to February make it easy to get out and about and experience everything our extraordinary region has to offer.

We’re famous for our beaches, but Nelson Tasman also knows how to have fun in plenty of other ways – summer beer and wine festivals, music, buskers, alfresco dining, outdoor movies … it’s all here. Pick yourself up a summer events guide from one of the local restaurants, cafes, libraries or information centres and make every day count. 

There’s a relaxed yet buzzing atmosphere as people indulge in a raft of outdoor adventures under the clear, blue summertime skies. While people in the northern hemisphere are wrapped up for a cold and snowy Christmas, we’re at the beach cooling off in the sea, eating fish and chips on the wharf, or lighting up a Kiwi BBQ at home after a day spent outdoors. Heading home from a big day out swimming, paddle-boarding, kayaking, boating, walking or fishing often includes a stop for real fruit ice cream from one of our wonderful local berry farms.

As beautiful as it is, summer is our peak season, so you can expect to share the beaches with others. There are more queues and you will need to book in your activities and accommodation in advance. Having said that though, our idea of 'more people than usual' is nothing like the crowds you’ll see in other countries or areas around New Zealand.

Having fun here in the summer means being aware of the sun and making sure you use sunblock and wear a hat and sunglasses. It’s very easy to get sunburnt, especially if you’re out on the water.

Bring your swimming gear, shorts, t-shirts and sandals and some good walking shoes if you’re planning on exploring our tracks and national parks. Always bring something a little warmer for the summer sea breeze.

People here are very casual and relaxed – you’ll often see them dining on a summers evening with their hair still wet from the ocean and something cool slipped over their swimming togs. For more upmarket restaurants you may want to bring something smart casual, but you will rarely see anyone in a suit and tie.