Our take on Nelson


With just over 56,000 in population, Nelson punches above its weight in comparison to other New Zealand’s smaller cities. The region is known for its arts and crafts, its markets and the various festivals taking place throughout the year. The area has a large community of working artists, especially a lot of good woodworkers, potters and painters, whose works and workshops can be visited on ‘trails’ through town and the region.

No surprise that the Wearable Arts awards, an international design competition which mixes fashion, visual arts and theatrical expression, began in Nelson. The event has moved to Wellington but the museum still exists but now showcases classic cars.

There is a lot of relaxed outdoor wining and dining in Nelson City. Hopgood’s, a true destination dining location, has gained a reputation as one of the best restaurants in all of New Zealand and The Boat Shed, perched above the water at Nelson harbour, has also been a favourite for years.

Nelson is also known for its ‘alternative’ scene. Meditation classes and spiritual teaching of various kinds are all readily available.The Evolve Festival, one of the biggest alternative lifestyle expos in the country also started here and still is a very well attended event.

The beauty of the region, the flourishing art scene, the quality restaurants and the availability of good, healthy food, good schools and health care attract many people to the area to live, work and play.