5 Day Itinerary - Regional Highlights
A five day trip will allow you to immerse yourself in the wider Nelson Tasman region, experiencing everything that makes a trip here so extraordinary.
Day 1 - Nelson City Activities
There are plenty of options to explore our beautiful city once you arrive.
Take a lovely walk along the Maitai River and on up to the Geographical Centre of NZ. At the top, you will experience 360 degree views of our stunning city, waterfront and Tasman Bay, encapsulated by the lush green hilltops behind and the rocky mountain ranges further afield.
Head back down the hill and through Queens Gardens to the Christ Church Cathedral. Not far from here is historic South Street and Jens Hansen – acclaimed jeweller & creator of the One Ring.
An alternative once you reach the Centre of NZ is to carry on walking through farmland with amazing views out over Tasman Bay. You will then arrive at Founders Heritage Park where you can explore displays of Nelson's heritage, visit businesses and artisans in character buildings or relax at the Founders Brewery Cafe & Bar.
Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco offers boutique accommodation by the water in Nelson. Located five minutes' drive from Nelson Airport, their village setting, beautiful grounds and excellent dining options ensures they cater for all.
Day 2 - Abel Tasman National Park Experience
There are multiple ways to enjoy NZ’s smallest, yet most popular National Park, from relaxing cruises to adventure options.
The 2 entry towns of Kaiteriteri and Marahau offer an extensive range of offerings to help you explore this stunning area.
Abel Tasman Sea Shuttles and Wilsons Abel Tasman offer day cruises through the Abel Tasman from the beautiful Kaiteriteri beach to enjoy a stop at Awaroa – one of the many stunning beaches. Not far from the beach is Awaroa Lodge where you can enjoy a lovely lunch. You can then to take a walk through the park to be picked up at a different beach if you choose.
Experience Kaiteriteri with a nights stay - Kaiteriteri Reserve Apartments offer stunning views over the beach, or choose from one of the holiday park cabin options.
5 mins drive north at the entrance to the National Park is the town of Marahau.
From here you can embark on numerous kayaking trips with Abel Tasman Kayaks or Marahau Sea Kayaks, or if you're feeling slightly more adventurous, Abel Tasman Canyons provide a fun filled, exhilirating day out. Marahau Water Taxis and Abel Tasman Aquataxi also provide quick and easy water taxi access to most points along the National Park to enable exploration of the Great Walk.
Regardless of your activities, you can unwind, relax and refuel with lunch or dinner at Hooked on Marahau before a stay at Abel Tasman Lodge. The Lodge is a tranquil haven and provides spacious private chalets set in beautiful grounds.
Day 3 - Takaka & Golden Bay OR Murchison
Takaka & Golden Bay
Travel approximately two hours over the Takaka Hill and into Golden Bay where there are so many places to explore. Riwaka Resurgence, Waikoropupu Springs, The Grove and Mussel Inn to name a few.
Head south on State Highway 6 for approximately two hours which will bring you to Murchison, a town with rural charm and natural beauty. The township is an ode to a gold mining past, with many buildings still in their original form from the late 1800's and early 1900's.
Murchison dubs itself the ‘white-water capital’ of the country as there are rivers everywhere. Enjoy a mind-blowing 40 minutes of pure thrill at 85km/hour and ride through the beautiful scenery of a protected scenic reserve with Buller Canyon Jet or try your hand at fly fishing with a stay in the luxurious Owen River Lodge and coaching from experienced fly fishing guides.
Day 4 - Takaka & Golden Bay OR Murchison
Takaka & Golden Bay
Farewell Spit Nature Reserve is a bird sanctuary and wetland of international importance. Farewell Spit Eco Tours provide a 6 ½ hour fully guided experience to visit Cape Farewell, then take you along the natural sand spit to view the historic lighthouse and explore its intriguing reserve. These tours depart from the small, historic town of Collingwood and are tide dependent so do check their website to determine tour times for your visit.
Ultimate Descents white water rafting have access to rivers that cover all grades, from gentle family rafting or down the Buller Gorge rafting. Enjoy world class wilderness backdrops as you drift through paradise.
As you travel back up SH6 to Nelson, turn right at the historic rest stop of Kawatiri and take a detour to St Arnaud and get a glimpse at another of our regions three National Parks – Nelson Lakes National Park. Check out the ever popular jetty on the Lake Rotoiti shoreline with an incredible backdrop. Clinker Café is a great spot for a relaxing lunch, or a coffee & cake.
Back in Nelson, Tahuna Beach Kiwi Holiday Park & Motels are located adjacent to the long sands of Tahunanui Beach. They provide a full range of accommodation to suit all.
Day 5 - Relax & Unwind
For your fifth day in our stunning region, relax and unwind enjoying extraordinary seafood, wine and hospitality.
Moana Stand Up Paddle Boards are located at Tahuna Beach. Start your day enjoying the serenity of the morning calm on a paddle-board.
Drive around Tasman Bay or cycle, either under your own steam or using an Electric Bike.
Nelson Cycle Hire are based at Nelson Airport – a great starting point for the Great Taste Trail.
Travel around Tasman Bay to the lovely seaside village of Mapua. Here you will find restaurants, a brewery, a wine bar, boutique shops and galleries.
If driving pop into Seifrieds on the way back to Nelson – pioneering family wine growers, sharing their wines with the world.
Or drive inland via the Moutere Highway through the historic village of Upper Moutere. This quaint village, set among rolling hills with views of Mount Arthur is home to NZ’s oldest pub - the Moutere Inn, as well as many artisan producers of food and crafts.