Our highlights around Nelson – Backpacking tips

Our highlights in Nelson

After spending a few months around Nelson, we would like to give you the opportunity today to see some of our personal highlights.

Nelson is a nice little town located directly at the sea. Freedom Camping is unfortunately only possible at a few selected spots. But there are some nice walks, a great Farmers Market and even the centre of New Zealand.

Read more about our highlights in Nelson. Have fun!


Grampians Walkway

The Grampians Walkway begins at the end of Collingwood Street. From here, there are several walks of varying lengths. One of the most popular walks from here is the one to the Viewing Platform.

This walk also offers (similar to the centre of New Zealand) a great view of Nelson and the bay.

To find out which of the walks you would like to do, or even if you do both, we look forward to your comments under our articles.


The Ring maker – Jens Hansen

You know the Lord of the Rings movie and you have “the one ring” right before your eyes? Perfect, because the real ring maker lives here in Nelson. The ring to the movie probably made him famous, so you can buy jewellery here or just look in the shop window.

Of course, there is also an online shop, because here you can also find wedding rings and other jewellery pieces that are based on the design of the “one ring” from the Lord of the Rings movies. Especially something for visitors with a larger budget, because there is almost no limit to the number of rings…


Nelson Farmers Market

Every Saturday there is a great Farmers Market at Montgomery Square. Besides many creative and beautiful products made in New Zealand, there is also a delicious selection of different food stalls.

At the food stalls there is also a small selection of vegan dishes, we tried something new every week.

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In addition, we have always stocked up on fruit and vegetables locally, as the local farmers sell their produce here in season.


Farmers Market in Nelson at Montgomery Square

Farmers Market in Nelson at Montgomery Square


Centre of New Zealand

In Nelson is also the centre of New Zealand (called Centre of New Zealand). This point is located on Botanical Hill and can be reached by a 20-minute walk. The view from here towards Nelson and the bay is great and most visitors do not bother to walk here.

In summer the trail is temporarily closed due to forest fire hazards, so always check the signs at the beginning of the trail.


Queens Gardens Nelson

The Queens Gardens are located near the city centre. From spring to autumn, you will find great flowers, a nice selection of plants, lots of water and nice places to sit.

We have used the beautiful park for a picnic and can definitely recommend it in good weather. Even though the park is generally rather busy, you can walk and explore here for a good hour.

For bad weather there are also some surrounding cafés where you can take a break. Have fun!


Rutherford Park

Even if the Rutherford Park first seems to be unimpressive, it is clearly bigger than it looks at first sight. You can park here as well, but you have to take care not to park over the time limit, because then it gets expensive.

When the weather was good, we spent many days in the summer lying on the grass in the sun with a mattress, tried yoga or sat down with a picnic by the river.

A nice spot to relax for an hour. Have fun and enjoy.

A supermarket is also just around the corner, so if you forgot something for your picnic, it's no problem there.


Princess Drive Harbour Lookout

The harbour in Nelson is relatively long and stretches along the highway. All the more exciting, as Nelson also has some hills and therefore there is a perfect view to large parts of the harbour.

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If you take the steep road to Princess Drive, you have a perfect view over most of the harbour and the bay. This way you can watch the harbour happen and in good weather you can even see the beginning of the Abel Tasman National Park on the horizon.

For us this spot was a real insider, because only thanks to our Wwoofing Host we found this great spot in Nelson.


View from the lookout on Nelson harbour

Lookout view on Nelson harbour from Princess drive.


Tahunanui Beach

It is summer and you want a nice sandy beach? Then the Tahunanui Beach in Nelson is exactly the right spot.

Even though this place is the most popular beach in Nelson in summer, it is a great place. There are also free showers (unfortunately only cold) and everything else you could wish for. If you want to be away from the hustle and bustle, we recommend you walk the beach more towards the west. Because there are usually less people there than at the east end which is closer to the road. In summer we sometimes showered here after work, something that is unfortunately no fun in winter.


View on the harbour in Nelson

Enjoy sundown at the Nelson harbour, on the left side at the horizon you can see Tahunanui Beach.


More posts to the New Zealand Regions

We have made a map for your easy navigation, with which you can visit the respective contribution to the region directly. Have a look around what we like in the other regions!



Questions, comments or additions

If you still have a tip for Nelson, then we look forward to your comment here under our articles. No matter if it's a hike, a viewpoint or a place to sleep, we are happy about every addition.


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