New Zealand’s Craft Brewing Capital

On the eastern shores of the Tasman Bay sits the South Island’s oldest settled city -- Nelson. Set against a backdrop of alpine lakes, roaring rivers and wide coastlines, the city has long been a magnet for creatives, with more than 350 artists calling Nelson home. A Mediterranean climate and fertile countryside mean that gourmet providores and boutique wineries dot the region’s rolling hills. But Nelson’s real drawcard is its title as the craft-brewing capital of New Zealand. More than a dozen locally owned breweries stretch from Founders Heritage Park to Onekaka in Golden Bay. And situated on Port Nelson, the largest fishing port in Australasia, everything from fresh scallops to fresh mussels are on the menu.

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Flights to Nelson

Things to do

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Airport information

[Nelson Airport GPS coordinates: 41.2983° S, 173.2211° E]

CBD 8km

Travel time 15 - 20 minutes

Taxi Approx NZD $17

Super Shuttle from NZD $19 (bookings required)

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When to go

Nelson is blessed with some of the highest sunshine hours in New Zealand. Summer (December - February) and autumn (March - May) are the best seasons to visit with the least rainfall, mild highs and comfortable lows. For travellers hoping to hit the slopes at the Rainbow Ski Area in Nelson Lakes National Park, the snow season opens between June and October, hitting its peak in August. 

During the summer, Nelson hosts a range of festivals from the Nelson Busker’s Festival to the Sail Port Stephens Regatta. And for art lovers, nothing beats the yearly Nelson Arts Festival.

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Getting around

For transport within Nelson and nearby Richmond, NBus operates services across the city every 15 minutes. There are four payment zones depending on the distance of your NBus trip. For example, a trip from Nelson to Richmond crosses four zones and costs NZD $4 for a single adult. For timetables and fare information visit Nelson City Council.

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