At the top of the South Island, Nelson is New Zealand’s sunniest area, with over 2500 hours of sunshine each year. A balmy Mediterranean climate prevails with long warm summers, crisp winters and clear blue skies.
It is famous for its uncrowded golden beaches and beautiful coastline, lakes, mountain ranges and many national parks, all within an hour’s drive of Nelson city. Orchards and vineyards, with numerous award-winning wineries abound.
Nelson itself is one of New Zealand’s most beautiful cities. Situated in a sheltered bay surrounded by hills it looks out over Tasman Bay to the Western Ranges in the distance. Tree-lined avenues, the weekly market, street performers and musicians, pavement cafes and hanging baskets make shopping and working downtown a wonderful experience. Music, arts and crafts, outdoor recreation and cafe culture feature prominently, as does the substantial shipping port and yacht marina.
Around 80,000 people live in the region, in the main urban area between Richmond and Nelson and in other coastal settlements such as Mapua and Motueka. The Marlborough region is an hour and a half away by car. A beautiful and a popular holiday playground the Marlborough Sounds are made up of tranquil inland seaways, hundreds of small bays and unspoilt native forest. The Marlborough winelands are home to renowned labels such as Hunter’s and Cloudy Bay.
Nelson’s recently upgraded airport is the fourth busiest in the country and from here the capital Wellington is a twenty minute flight away. Flying time to Christchurch or Auckland is around an hour.