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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.)
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Paradiso Backpackers Hostel
"Worked in Paradiso from May '06 to Oct '06 as a cleaner. What can I say, I've traveled the world but this is by far the best hostel i stayed in. If you enjoy meeting people from all walks of life and generally having a good time, this is the place to stay. Take advantage of the free pool/spa and sauna because not many other hostels provide this free of charge. Rhonda, the manager is a top woman too -- it takes a lot to run a big and busy...
"Great place!! This is my second time back and I'll be back again. Great atmosphere — more like a house than a hostel. Cheers to Barry and Colin!" … "My New Zealand Home - Had a wonderful four months at the beach hostel 2003 -- felt comfortable and welcoming the moment i arrived! In a brilliant location with the beach so close, town nearby, and easy distance to Abel Tasman national park. i do hope to return some day." … "This...
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
"… ." … "… is spacious and has a full kitchen with ovens, breadmaker and all other appliances. Surrounded by waterfront either jump off the wharf into the sea next door or walk along the 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...
Prince Albert Backpackers
"It was lovely and the staff was amazing and helpfully. Really lovely and I would absolutely recommend to everyone!" … "… dorms, 4 bed share rooms, twins, and doubles. All of our rooms have en-suite facilities along with laundered and pressed linens and duvets. The backpackers uses a secure electronic keycard access system for security. Our guests also enjoy the exclusive use of a private sunny courtyard, private lounge and...
"… 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...
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,...
"Brilliant! - This hostel is really great. It's small, so it's nice and quiet and you get a good night sleep. It's friendly and the free shortbread is really sweet. Plus there are TVs in the double rooms. The managers Kev and Emily are really friendly and they'll help you out with anything you need. One of the best in New Zealand definitely." … "Beautiful, clean, quiet, and yummy shortbread." … "This was the smallest hostel I...
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
"… and theatres of the Nelson City centre and the famous Saturday 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...
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...
"… 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
"Home away from, delightful chalets sleep up to six. each with own full kitchen and bathroom. 10 acres of wide open spaces, lovely views, easy access. Tennis courts, hot spa.(free)" … "On the main highway between Nelson and Picton. 40 mins from Nelson, one hour from Picton." … "… include tennis courts, spa, barbecue and walking tracks. Each unit is spacious, sunny and self-contained. We are centrally located for...
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