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Situated right up in the north of the South Island, Nelson is known as the sunniest city in New Zealand. The weather here is beautiful, especially in the summer, when it draws its biggest crowds.
Tahunanui Beach, which is a short drive from the town centre, is popular with locals and tourists, families, and kite-surfers. Between the beach and Nelson's natural harbour are several trendy bistros that are known for their fine cuisine.
The city centre can satisfy the appetites of all sorts of travelers. For the arty one, there are museums and art galleries. For the music lover, there are annual music festivals held in Nelson and nearby towns. A foodie will love hanging out in Nelson, checking out its various restaurants, cafes, and pubs -- and be spoilt for choice. And if you just want to do some shopping, the city centre can offer you just about whatever you need.
Nelson is a good starting point for travelers heading to the famous Abel Tasman National Park. It is a place you have to visit if you are in the region. Whether you decide to hike or kayak, you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Tasman region and if you are lucky, you might get a close encounter with a playful seal cub. Nelson is also home to the geographical centre of New Zealand. It is situated on Botanical Hill and is one of the most popular walks. It takes about thirty minutes for the uphill climb and, while it may be tough for some, no one ever regrets the walk when they see Nelson from the top of the hill.
Finally, there is no lack of Nelson hostels for the budget traveler. You want to stay right in town? By the beach? In a quiet neighbourhood? No problem -- there are hostels everywhere (they are some of the highest rated ones under BBH, New Zealand's hostel network, and there is a very good reason for that).
Nelson City Centre
View of Nelson from the Centre of New Zealand
Other Nearby Cities
(17 Km / 11 mi.)
(28 Km / 17 mi.)
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Paradiso Backpackers Hostel
"Reception very kindly - A Clean double room and a big kitchen!" … "Fire alarms, ants, rude receptionist - At first when I arrived at this place I thought it was chilled out and relaxed. How wrong I was. The fire alarm went off for two nights in a row on at least THREE occasions. It got to the point, where everyone in my room was ignoring the alarm. The receptionist (blonde hair and glasses) couldn't give a damn. Whatever about ants and...
"Nice staff, pleasant place - This is my second time staying here -- very nice atmosphere. I like the location being a bit out of town and closer to the beach -- more peaceful. Nice kitchen and staff. This will be where I stay if i come again to Nelson." … "Friendly staff, good atmosphere, would recommend! - near the beach, fun atmosphere, very sociable, and clean! would recommend!" … "Good location, but needs updating - Stayed...
Tasman Bay Backpackers
"Tasman Bay Backpackers has some nice extras to make you feel right at home. Depending on your opinion, there could be only one downside -- there is no TV. The Location The location is good -- the town centre, where you will find amenities like a supermarket for self-catering, is a short walk away. The neighbourhood is suburban and very quiet, so you can be assured of a good night's sleep. The bus station is also nearby, but the hostel...
"HI - YHA Nelson Central Hostel is one of the cleanest you will find ever. It's a great place to stay while you plan/do a tour in Abel Tasman National Park and it's suitable for people of all ages who seek adventure. The Location Situated no more than a hundred meters from the bus station, this hostel is centrally located. Since it's close to markets and bars, it is very easy to find and it's fifty meters from a car park (great for those...
The Bug Backpackers
"Hope you like Volkswagen Bugs, as The Bug Backpackers is decorated with them, from pictures on the walls to symbols on the doors, right down to the Bug in the parking lot. The Bug has a lot to offer, from friendly service, good internet, and even free bikes to get around, since they're a little outside the city. There's a great vibe here and the owners are awesome. The Location Located on the outskirts of town, this is a quiet hostel...
Almond House Backpackers
"Almond House Backpackers is a lovely hostel that feels like home. The owners are very warm, friendly, and helpful, and their children are such darlings. The hostel has huge glass windows and doors so you get sun all day! The atmosphere is fantastic -- very homey and peaceful. You wouldn't want to leave once you've been here! The Location Almond House is situated in a peaceful little neighbourhood called The Wood. There's a lovely...
The Custom House
"… waterfront to the beach for the day. Close by are cafes, fresh fish shops and Nelsons best (award winning) fish/chip shop is next door, We are at a main pick up and drop off point for many chosen activities including the Abel Tasman National Park. We also offer a booking service, bar on site, indoor and outdoor relaxation areas as well as all the activities and sights the Nelson/Tasman area has to offer. We look forward to seeing...
Prince Albert Backpackers
"Great place to stay! - Very nice place, friendly staff." … "It was lovely and the staff was amazing and helpfully. Really lovely and I would absolutely recommend to everyone!" … "… Albert Backpackers include a games room with Fussball, Darts, Ping Pong & Air Hockey, cruiser style bikes free of charge to explore Nelson and for the more adventurous individual we have quality mountain bikes for hire at the cheapest rate in...
Bumbles Bridge Backpackers Hostel
"Bumbles Bridge Backpackers Hostel is an inexpensive hostel located right in the center of town. It has many common areas and doesn't get too rowdy, so it's a good place to relax a bit; however, the staff are a bit unpleasant, so it can make for some uncomfortable situations. The Location Nelson is a very small town, and this hostel is located right in the center of it. It's a short walk to everything, and the bus stops almost directly...
Accents on the Park
"Accents on the Park is a home away from home run by a lovely New Zealand couple. The friendly owners make your stay as comfortable as possible and will book tours for you or simply help you plan your trip. The hostel is ideally located in the centre of town and overlooks a lovely shady park which houses Nelson's landmark park square. The house itself is charming and very comfortable. Beds are new with spring mattresses and crisp linen....
"A welcome respite in a town already full of quality budget accommodations, The Hectate House is the only women's only backpackers in Nelson and one that draws rave reviews from all who visit there. Small and cozy quarters are lovingly done up in this historical house, located on serene Nile Street. A huge veranda with comfy chairs faces the quiet, leafy road, the perfect place to catch up with a novel nabbed from the hostel's book exchange....
"The hostel is an old manor house which has character. While it is old, it's not rundown. The dorm rooms are spacious and there are handy little features like little closets to store your bags and hang your towels. The bathrooms are small and the shower space is cramped but clean. Bathrooms are unisex. There's a swimming pool and a large kitchen. It doesn't have as many facilities as some of the newer or nicer hostels such as Paradiso,...
"Excellent small home - We had a fantastic stay here. Jimmy (new owner) really makes sure he is around to look after the hostel and you. Free shortbread every day, free internet, free massive TV. TV doesnt get used much as people are fairly sociable here. For a small, friendly hostel extremely close to the centre of Nelson it doesn't get much better than this. Very reasonably priced." … "Excellent - i originally stayed here in 2000 and...
Honey Suckle House
"Honey Suckle House is a small, family-run hostel not very far from the Nelson town centre. It has free, high-speed internet access if you have a laptop and a public computer available for guests at the reception. Laundry service is available too. Bicycles can be kept in the garage, which is not locked and can be seen from the street, but the area is very safe. The Location Nelson is a lively and friendly town on the northern coast of...
The Palace Backpackers
"The Palace is just a stone's throw from all the shops, bars and restaurants of the city centre, yet its wonderful gardens and fabulous views give it a very peaceful, laid-back atmosphere. It has nice, spacious dorms with wide windows, old fireplaces, and no bunk beds are a welcome change and the facilities are generally very good - kitchen, TV room, internet, outdoor patio and spa, laundry etc. Free tea and coffee are available all day, and a...
Fellworth House for Solo Travellers
"… Nelson Market, Nelson Cathedral and Nelson Provincial Museum. Our grand wooden staircase will lead you to all our rooms, kitchen and living areas. In a true Nelson style our booking procedure is kept casual and simple with a notice at the front door reception area directing you to your room number upstairs. All equipment in our modern kitchen, dining and lounge areas are available for use for our guests. We offer a fully equipped...
The Beach House
"… Our guest house is located in a very quiet area with beautiful bike trails, the Nelson Beach with Outdoor Fitness Area, Nelson Golf Links, parks, restaurants and pubs, our famous waterfront, the Nelson Fun Park Hydroslide with Bumper Boats, Mini Golf and Go Carts, the Nature land Zoo and WOW and car museum and many more attractions. We are dog-friendly and offering a big yard, the park and the beach as well as a kennel in our...
"… The complimentary breakfast is a must for any weary traveller to set you up for the days adventures. We also have a Internet Cafe down stairs. High speed internet, just a step off the street you can email/Skype home, have a fairtrade organic coffee all while you surf, and enjoy the buzz of the city as it hums by. Aurora also provides the following services: Black/white printing, photocopying and faxing Outlet for mobile phone...
"… with only a 2 minute stroll to town. Enjoy free Wifi while basking in the afternoon sun on our outdoor terrace. Texas hold em poker on Monday's is always a favourite with locals and tourists alike. We regularly host pool & darts competitions, and offer free pizza on Thursdays and bar snacks on Fridays. Spend Sunday relaxing in our beer garden with free use of BYO BBQ. If you enjoy the outdoors, Nelson is a great place to...
Mount Richmond Resort
"… chef produced meals, snacks. Also serving soft drinks and fantastic locally roasted coffee. Sit inside in front of the log burner in the cooler months or outside on the deck in the warmer months. We have eight motels; they are individual newly refurbished motel units set in 10 acres of parkland. Each having two bedrooms, which are normally super king size double bed in one room, a twin bedded room. These are very flexible so can...
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