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A Guide to Nelson
Know Before You Go
- Head to Tahunanui Beach. It's one of the safest beaches for families in the area. There is also a local bus service that runs from the city centre to the beach from 06:45 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. every day.
- Visit the Nelson Market. It's open every Saturday from 08:00 a.m. to 01:00 p.m. and is full of fresh local produce. It's a cheap way to stock up on food and cook your own meals to help keep costs down.
- Go skydiving. Nelson is one of the best places to jump because of its border with the Alps and Abel Tasman. You'll soar over the snow-capped mountains and land on a beautiful beach.
- Nelson is the craft beer capital of New Zealand, but it's also home to prestigious wine farms. Make sure you stop by the wineries and book a beer tasting tour.
- There is free public WiFi in the city. All you need to do is connect to "NelsonCityFreeWifi", and you'll get 50MB each day.
- Take a day trip to Abel Tasman National Park. You can spend the day sea kayaking or tackle one of New Zealand's great walks - the Abel Tasman Coast Track.
Getting Around Nelson
If you're staying in the city centre, it's easy to walk or cycle around Nelson. You can find bike hire companies in the CBD or book a cycling tour.
For a faster way to get around, you can use the city's bus service. It runs from Monday to Saturday and covers four main routes. There is also a late night service that operates until 03:15 a.m. from Trafalgar Street to Richmond for NZD 4.
Other options include calling up one of the taxi companies to request a ride or renting a car for the duration of your stay in Nelson.
When is The Best Time to Visit Nelson?
The most popular time to visit Nelson is in the summer. From December to February, Kiwis and Aussies descend upon the city for the end of year holidays. If you're planning a trip during this period, it's a good idea to book your hotel, car hire and accommodation well in advance to lock in lower prices.
For the best camping weather, come to Nelson in the spring. From September to November, the temperatures start to warm up, and the summer crowds have yet to arrive.
If you want the cheapest possible hotel rates and airfare prices, book your trip during Nelson's winter months. The colder temperatures keep most visitors away, and you'll have better luck finding deals.
Airports in Nelson
Nelson Airport is located 6km from the city centre. It's the fifth busiest airport in New Zealand and serves over a million passengers every year.
Getting to and from Nelson Airport
The best way to get from Nelson Airport is with a taxi or a shuttle service.
You'll find the cab drivers waiting outside of the arrival terminal. But if you're on a tight budget, it's better to book with one of the shuttles as the price is fixed and usually half of what a taxi would cost.
There are tour buses that operate from the airport, but you'll need to arrange your pick up and drop off before you arrive.
If you prefer having your own set of wheels, you'll find the car rental desks inside the arrivals building.