Nelson is said to be the sunniest city in New Zealand and it certainly lived up to its name – the weather was beautiful whilst we were there. We mainly decided to stay in Nelson to break up a few long days travelling but it was a nice place to spend a couple of nights.
A lot of people use Nelson as an easy base from which to see Abel Tasman National Park, but having already been there we spent our time in the city itself. The Saturday morning market is definitely worth checking out and we were pleased that we were able to see it. There are a wide range of arts and crafts as well as food stalls. I treated myself to a very tasty waffle for breakfast and the ice cream was very welcome as it was already quite a hot day. The artisan products were all quite reasonably priced and it was a good place to get some Christmas shopping done.
In addition to the market there are lots of art galleries and independent shops which make it quite a cool place just to look around. The ringmaker jeweller who made the rings for the Lord of the Rings films is based in Nelson just around the corner from the cathedral.
Having missed out on the Southern point of South Island we decided to complete the short walk to the Centre of New Zealand! It’s quite steep but gives good views over the city and port and you can see across to the Abel Tasman National Park. I imagine it would be a good place to watch the sun set – something we intended to do but missed as we were too busy eating the chocolate pudding provided by our hostel!
Had we had a bit more time here we probably would have ventured slightly further out of the city. I’d heard good things about the Museum of Wearable Art and we’d both heard lots about nearby Golden Bay. Nelson Lakes National Park also isn’t too far away and would have some good walking opportunities.