Hotels in Nelson, New Zealand
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Clearly, those Nelson tales have the ring of truth
Nelson, on South Island, is very close to the absolute centre of New Zealand. It also has a number of claims to fame. The town has the largest fishing port in Australasia and the sun always shines here; well it does so more than anywhere else in the country. The One Ring™ which featured in the acclaimed film, The Lord of the Rings was crafted by a Nelson jeweller and you can still purchase replicas at the Nelson-based shop. Finally, the sea water is reputedly clearer here than in any other part of New Zealand. It’s well worth taking a look at Nelson.
Fins ain’t what they used to be in Nelson
Truth takes a battering in Nelson where signs outside many restaurants and hotels proclaim the finest shark and tatties in the area. Tourists are drawn in by the prospect of a new dining adventure, only to be disappointed when served with a portion of cod-fish and chips. It’s delicious, of course, but not what the menu led them to believe. In Nelson, there is an array of restaurants, bars, cafes, fast-food emporiums and even hotels, where great food is served. Some are located on the spectacular coastal highway; thus adding a further dimension to the dining experience. Wherever you choose to eat, the menu will reflect the abundance of produce from the surrounding farmlands and similar proportions of fish and seafood from the ocean. Supplemented by a choice of local beers and wines, the result is a sunny smile on the diner’s face in this, New Zealand’s sunniest town. It’s a pity about the shark, though.
Getting away from it all - and a Farewell Spit
From your Nelson hotel, it’s an easy trip and one well worth taking, to Kahurangi National Park. This is New Zealand’s second largest national park and one where wilderness takes on a new meaning. Hiking, camping and mountain biking are popular pursuits here. Fired by enthusiasm for this once in a lifetime sense of desolation; press on to Collingwood. From here there are excursions to Farewell Spit - and Lighthouse – at the most northerly tip of South Island. At Cape Farewell and throughout the year, you can see seals and their pups just basking in the sunshine. There are organised safaris too, so you can explore the region thoroughly and safely. Those senses of peace, quiet and desolation are inspirational, but you’ll surely appreciate returning to your Nelson hotel for a convivial meal and drink. If, though, you love what the world of nature has to offer, you should also put a trip to the gannet colony in your diary.
Transported by the beauty of New Zealand
There are many places in the Nelson area that are unreachable by road. You won’t be taking the train either. The railway has yet to reach Nelson. Much of the transport – and the finest way to appreciate the area’s scenic features – is to take a ferry or water taxi from Nelson to the outlying islands. One of a number of sea-based excursions is to take a sea shuttle to Abel Tasman National Park. These trips are supervised and are via catamaran water taxis. One such excursion leaves from nearby Kaiteriteri which, itself, has a fabulous beach. There is, incidentally, a free bus link to Kaiteriteri from Nelson. Looking further afield, there are hourly flights from Nelson Airport to North Island. However, from nearby Picton you can take the more leisurely three hour ferry trip. North Island is approximately 60 miles away. This has been rated as one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world and on return to your hotel; it will surely become an experience to be remembered for many years ahead.
Nelson is still being invaded to this day
The Maoris first settled in this region, long before the current plethora of restaurants, hotels – and even tourists – were thought of. The town’s Maori name is Te Tau Ihu. The Maoris from North Island vanquished many Maori settlers here, in the 1820s. Nelson is South Island’s oldest city and it is the second oldest in New Zealand. It is located on the eastern shore of Tasman Bay. The only invaders of Nelson, these days, are in the form of tourists. With accommodation including luxury-end hotels, palatial apartments, backpacking hostels and guest houses, there are plenty of places to stay in Nelson. Motor Camps, with tent and cabin accommodation are also hugely popular and can include a lounge, games room and pool. Things have moved on in Nelson since the 1800s … but the town still keeps getting invaded.