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Nelson is an area rich in resources and a temperate climate. Situated at the northwestern half of the top of the South Island; and incorporates five regions. Nelson-Richmond (the urban centres of the city), Motueka & Approaches (the horticultural centre), Abel Tasman National Park (along the coast), Golden Bay (the centre of parks situated between Abel Tasman National Parks and Kahurangi), and St Arnaud & Murchison (alpine lakes and rivers – incorporating Nelson Lakes National Park).

Nelson City is home to some 40,000 people. Located on the coast, visitors are able to cruise the harbour, visit Haulashore Island – or head further a field to the beautiful Marlborough Sounds or Abel Tasman. Deep sea fishing is also popular, or for those that prefer the urban life, wander along the Nelson promenade full of history or browse the shops in the city. Popular venues are to visit the Whakatu Marae, Founders Park, the Miyazu Japanese gardens or the historic Wakapuaka Cemetery.

Nelson is fast becoming the city of events and all year round the visitor will be able to go to music and theatre festivals, shows and events.

Motueka is the richly fertile fruit belt of Nelson. Most of the fruit and vineyards are to be found here, alongside artists and craftspeople that promote their crafts in this region. Galleries and historic points of interest abound here, nestled between orchards and fruit stalls.

Inland from Motueka are the German settlers’ graves around the Lutheran church in Upper Moutere. For the fisherman, great trout fishing can be found in Motueka Valley. For the walkers and hikers, head to Kahurangi National Park, where you can reach the Flora Saddle high in the hills, where there are excellent walks.

The settlement of Motueka can be found at the mouth of the Motueka River. With the coast, and nearby Kahurangi and Able Tasman Nation Parks, this spot is popular with the outdoor lovers. Think of an outdoor pursuit and chances are you can do it here. After a hard day sea kayaking or skydiving, you can return to the settlement to sample the wines from local vineyards or browse the various cultural tours, galleries and shops.

The Abel Tasman National Park is the smallest national park in New Zealand (22,350 ha). Sandwiched between the sandy beaches of the coast and the harshness of the rocky headlands, the Abel Tasman offers a uniqueness of flora and fauna to explore.

Golden Bay is only two hours drive from Nelson city, and offers a beautifully scenic drive over Takaka Hill - the marble mountain. On the way you can stop and admire Harwoods Hole (176m deep) and the Ngarua Caves.
The towns of St Arnaud and Murchison are in steep alpine country, allowing for the white water and rapids that make them so popular with the tourists.

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