Things to do in
Nelson

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Our most recommended things to do in Nelson

Abel Tasman National Park Scenic Cruise

1. Abel Tasman National Park Scenic Cruise

Head out from beautiful Kaiteriteri Beach on this 4-hour scenic cruise through Abel Tasman National Park. See the world-famous Split Apple Rock, New Zealand fur seals, Bark Bay, Tonga Quarry, and golden sand beaches and sparkling turquoise waters along the way. Explore the coastline and discover secluded beaches and bays from the comfort of the boat. Learn about the history of the park and what makes it such a special place to visit. Hear commentary about the region and its inhabitants. The cruise is the best ways to experience Abel Tasman National Park, while encountering some of the local wildlife.

Nelson: Skywire Experience

2. Nelson: Skywire Experience

Set 300 meters above the base cafe, your adventure starts with a 4 kilometer mini-bus journey up through the park to the launch platform of the Skywire. Your guides will entertain you on the ride up with facts and stories of the park and surrounding areas. The Skywire experience takes up to 4 people at a time, seated side by side, strapped into individual racing car style seats with 5 point harnesses, and can reach speeds of up to 100 kilometers per an hour. Move forward and backwards on the Skywire, with 800 meters of gravity assisted freewheeling in each direction. With 700 meters of scenic journey in each direction, finish back at the start after nearly 10 minutes of this thrilling experience. Many people rate the return backwards as the highlight of the trip.

Nelson: Guided Quad Biking Tour Through Forest and Farmland

3. Nelson: Guided Quad Biking Tour Through Forest and Farmland

Combine excitement and adventure on a guided quad bike tour through native forest settings, around areas of a New Zealand farm, and up to lookout points with breathtaking coastal views of the Cable Bay area. Delight in the beautiful scenery and have lots of fun on your self-driven vehicle, whatever the weather. Start your experience with an instructional session and safety briefing from your experienced guide. Then, practice and hone your driving skills before departing on your tour. Choose between a 1.5-hour Farm Forest Ride or a 2.5-hour Bayview Circuit Tour. On the Farm Forest Ride, drive around the farmland and to the top of the Skywire Hill, before heading back down around the flats and along the banks of the river on a tour designed for all abilities. Alternatively, explore 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) of beautiful forest trails on the Bayview Circuit Tour. Ride past the Skywire then out to the stunning Bayview lookout over Delaware Bay, before descending back through the farm. Light refreshments are included.

Abel Tasman National Park Cruise and Walking Tour Combo

4. Abel Tasman National Park Cruise and Walking Tour Combo

Experience the best of Abel Tasman National Park on this full-day boat cruise and walk combination. There are 3 different walk options available on this day of discovering. Enjoy a scenic cruise, visits to Split Apple Rock and a fur seal colony, golden beaches, forest walking and wildlife encounters all on a single day out. There are 3 tour options: Option A: Astrolabe Beaches and Bays Walking distance: 7 km Walking time: 2.5 hours Details: After a scenic cruise, you’ll be dropped off at Apple Tree Bay at noon for a walk to Anchorage Beach, with time to visit 5 different beaches along the way. There is also the option of adding the 1-hour Pitt Head loop track to Te Pukatea Beach. Pick-up in Anchorage at 15:45 or 17:00** Arrival in Kaiteriteri at 16:30 or 17:30** Option B: Forest and Swing Bridge Walking distance: 10.5 km Walking time: 4 hours Details: Following a scenic cruise, you'll be dropped off at Medlands Beach at 11:30 for an interesting walk to Anchorage Beach that includes the scenic highlights of the South Head lookout, the famous Falls River swing bridge and Cleopatra’s Pool. Pick-up in Anchorage at 15:45 or 17:00** Arrival in Kaiteriteri at 16:30 or 17:30** Option C: 5 Beaches Walking distance: 8.8 km Walking time: 3.5 hours Details: After a scenic cruise, you'll be dropped off at Awaroa at 11:00 and enjoy a walk that takes in 5 beaches between Awaroa and your pick-up point at Medlands Beach. This option also features the option of stopping at the Peppers Awaroa Lodge Café, where you can enjoy the excellent views and native forests as well as a waterfall and lagoon at Bark Bay. Note that a steep climb from Tonga Quarry requires a reasonable level of fitness. Pick-up at Medlands Beach at 15:30 or 16:45* Arrival in Kaiteriteri at 16:30 or 17:30** * Summer season only: 15 October-30 April ** Peak summer only: 1 December-31 March

Abel Tasman National Park: Day Sailing Adventure with Lunch

5. Abel Tasman National Park: Day Sailing Adventure with Lunch

Start your day sailing from Kaiteriteri beach and enjoy a full day of sailing through New Zealand's stunning Abel Tasman National Park. Either chill out and relax, get involved in the sailing or learn as you go - you decide. Experience some great sailing, enjoy some stunning beaches and islands, with a full hour to enjoy your lunch and relax on Anchorage Beach. A great opportunity to go swimming or take a short walk and explore the caves. Throughout this full-day tour, you will have an opportunity to visit the Fur Seal Colony, Split Apple Rock, and a range of beautiful destinations before returning to Kaiteriteri Beach. This incredible tour will have you seeing all the Abel Tasman National Park highlights in one day.

Nelson to Mapua: Full-Day Cycling Self-Guided Adventure

6. Nelson to Mapua: Full-Day Cycling Self-Guided Adventure

Begin your adventure in Nelson where you’ll be fitted for your bikes and briefed on your tour. From there, cycle to Mapua on Tasman’s Great Taste Trail. Explore Nelson City before following the blue Great Taste Trail markers which lead south to the seaside village of Mapua. Stop along the way at Nelson's Classic Car Museum. Visit the Honest Lawyer and enjoy the atmosphere of a country-style pub. Take a break from cycling and check out some of the many craft breweries and wineries along the way. Enjoy the trail’s coastal route. Take in phenomenal views from the Waimea Estuary and Farmland’s coastal boardwalks. Cross the spectacular Waimea Swing Bridge and then continue on to Rabbit Island. Take a swim in a freshwater swimming hole, or take a dip in the warm sea waters of Rabbit Island. Journey across the channel on the iconic Mapua Ferry. Land at Mapua Wharf and enjoy the buzzing atmosphere of galleries, studios, restaurants, cafes, shops and the Golden Bear Boutique Brewery. After a day of exploring, sit down for dinner on the Mapua Wharf. Afterward, jump on the kiwi Journeys shuttle and return to Nelson.

Cable Bay Adventure Park: Half-Day E-Bike Hire

7. Cable Bay Adventure Park: Half-Day E-Bike Hire

Rent a full suspension e-bike for half a day and make your own self-guided trip around the Cable Bay Adventure Park. Ride the 4x4 road network out to the stunning Bayview lookout and picnic area, or ride up and check out the action on the Skywire.  You can also ride your e-bike on the dedicated mountain bike trails. Use your half-day rental to venture out with your group to the Bay view lookout and check out the Skywire.  Feel safe and secure with a briefing on how to operate the bike. Don your helmet included in the rental and set off with confidence.

Abel Tasman National Park: Sailing and Self-Guided Walk

8. Abel Tasman National Park: Sailing and Self-Guided Walk

Delight in an amazing day out in Abel Tasman National Park that combines sailing along the stunning coastline before embarking on one of New Zealand's great walks. Start your day sailing from Kaiteriteri Beach, soaking up the scenery along the picturesque coastline. Take in the golden beaches, bays, islands, and birdsong, and pass by the iconic Split Apple Rock and the playful New Zealand fur seal colony. As you sail, learn about the history, marine life, flora, and fauna of Abel Tasman from your knowledgeable skipper. Arrive at Anchorage Bay around midday, and enjoy your own packed lunch on the beach or take a swim before starting your self-guided nature walk back to Marahau. During your hike, stroll along sandy beaches via picture-perfect lookouts and through native bush. Admire the beautiful scenery the National Park coastal track has to offer on a self-guided walk that generally takes between 3-4 hours.

Nelson: Abel Tasman Cruise-Fly Day Tour

9. Nelson: Abel Tasman Cruise-Fly Day Tour

From Nelson Airport, relax and enjoy the shuttle transfer by road to Kaiteriteri, theTasman regions very own seaside town. Enjoy a 90-minute scenic boat cruise the length of the Abel Tasman National Park to Totaranui, keep a look out for seals and dolphins along the way! Totaranui with it's pristine, beautiful golden sand, clear water, lush bush and walking tracks in all directions is the perfect place to enjoy your picnic lunch and soak up the scenery with an hour and a half of beach time. Go swimming, relax on the beach, take a short walk in the National Park or read about the area's history at the DOC Visitor Centre. Leaving Totaranui at 12:30pm travel the limestone coastline to Takaka aboard a 50-minute shuttle tour with commentary, hearing about the history and environment of Golden Bay along the way. Stopping at Te Waikoropupu Springs - New Zealand's largest freshwater springs and the largest cold water springs in the southern hemisphere, enjoy a short 30-minute loop walk taking you through the forest to a platform that sits partly over the water of Te Waikoropupū Springs. The easy walkways have interpretive panels along the way. A must see while in the 'Bay'. Then it's time to farewell Golden Bay in style with a scenic flight back to Nelson, flying over the Abel Tasman coastline. During your flight, you will be wearing a headset so you can talk to others and the pilot, and listen to the pilot's commentary about the places you fly over. Your tour ends on your arrival at Nelson Airport.

Other Sightseeing Options in Nelson

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What people are saying about Nelson

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 208 reviews

guide was informative of area, ride was great, weather was great just a little chilly when going 92 kms, scenery was very pretty

Friendly, welcoming, knowledge crew who created a magical trip. Definitely me back to hike the park next time!

Had a very good experience. Gave us a lot of information. The staff is friendly.

absolutely brilliant. must do after a rain do much fun.

Just an all round great day out. Thoroughly enjoyed