Arts & Culture

Nelson Tasman has a rich and long history. Music, sculpture, visual arts, jewellery…it’s all here.

This area has always been desirable with Māori being the first to recognise the region’s natural attributes and abundance. There are eight iwi across the top of the South Island – including Nelson Tasman and Marlborough: Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō, Rangitāne, Ngāti Tama, Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Koata, Ngāti Kuia, Ngāti Toa and Ngāti Rārua.

More recently, Nelson Tasman has become famous for the creative work its people produce. We are the home of three of New Zealand’s oldest and most cherished cultural centres – the Nelson Centre of Musical Arts (formerly the Nelson School of Music), the Theatre Royal and the Suter Gallery.

Of course creativity is about a lot more than buildings and we are very proud of the independent, ground-breaking artists and artisans that thrive in our region. This is where the World of WearableArt (WOW) event was born and is home to Jens Hansen The Ringmaker – the maker of the ring for The Lord of the Rings movies.

We are proud of our heritage and celebrate it at our popular Nelson Provincial Museum and Founders Heritage Park – both well worth visiting during your time here.