Nelson for couples & friends

Our central location makes checking out Nelson's hot spots a breeze. Deciding what to do in Nelson, however, might prove a little trickier – all the city’s best restaurants, bars and nightclubs are within walking distance. Serious wine connoisseurs and beer enthusiasts can experience cellar-door tastings at some of the twenty-five boutique wineries in the area (close enough that you can cycle around them), or visit the local craft breweries.

The surrounding fertile valleys running to the sea ensure there is great fare for gourmands in the local restaurants, from Oceano featuring award winning NZ beef, lamb and the freshest fish to the East St Vegetarian café bar, where you don’t have to be a vegetarian to appreciate dishes featuring the fine local produce. For a fun culinary experience watch the skilled teppanyaki chefs at Miyazu turn that fresh produce and fish into amazing creations right in front of you. You can meet the producers at the weekly famers market, or book your Nelson holiday to coincide with one of the local festivals or events.

Despite being small, Nelson is famous for its art, and steeped in history. There are many artists’ galleries to view, including on historic South Street, an original street from the 1860’s just adjacent to the Rutherford Nelson Hotel. Nelson spawned the incredible World of Wearable Arts, which you can view a sampling of at the World of Wearable Arts and Classic Cars Museum, Höglund Art Glass is now an iconic New Zealand product, and Jen Hansen Jeweler created the Ring itself: the ring at the centre of the Lord of the Rings movie series. Art in Nelson can be hands on too –create your own personalised souvenir to remember: your very own bone carving.

Cultural activities in Nelson are just the beginning. Experience the great outdoors via 4WD quad bike and thrilling sky wire at Happy Valley Adventures, where you can see "Mareikura” –the world’s oldest Matai tree. Or take a trip out to Nelson Lakes National Park; day walkers will enjoy a network of short tracks enjoying lake views, birdsong and native Beech forest, while serious hikers can strike out for Lake Angelus (a loop generally takes 3 days), or take the Travers-Sabine circuit (about 5 days to complete). In winter there is the small but perfectly formed Rainbow Ski Area to experience, and in summer there’s the water sports; Nelson is the place to learn to kitesurf.

If you're just in the mood for some pampering, Nelson and surrounds are a haven for spas and therapies, or just relax by the hotel’s pool. Ask our activities staff for more details, they will make planning the perfect combination of Nelson attractions easy.