Discover the best places to eat, drink, shop and explore in Nelson Tasman with our guide.

Nelson is a city synonymous with sunshine, the great outdoors, world-class cuisine, and creativity. Discover golden beaches, clear waters, mountaintops and lakes among a vibrant arts, beverage, and food scene. The wonderful Nelson Tasman region is an area to be treasured.

There is so much to discover in the wider Nelson Tasman region that it’s no wonder this seaside town is a favourite destination for holidaymakers and lifestyle searchers alike. While summer months are the natural time to head to this wonderland of sunshine and sandy beaches, it’s just as intriguing visiting in winter without the masses.

The compact downtown is best explored on foot and plays host to numerous interesting destinations. Find galleries exhibiting the best of the region from ceramic art to painting, glass-blowing and beyond, world-class restaurants, cafés and breweries, carefully curated boutiques, recycled fashion, and antique stores, plus an iconic Saturday market, which brings in local makers, bakers, and growers to showcase the bounty of the region.

Just beyond the city centre, the great outdoors awaits. Whether you’re into hiking, biking, water sports, or boating, it’s all within reach here. Camp by the beach, strap on a backpack, or slip on a swimsuit — there’s plenty of activities to choose from.

Whichever way you decide to explore the region, expect to be surrounded by stunning natural landscapes like nowhere else, to bathe in sunshine, wine and dine like a king, and appreciate art made by clever creatives that call the Top of the South home.

Journeys to The Mussel Inn: A Legend of New Zealand Hospitality

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It started over 30 years ago with a bare paddock and a vision; to create a space for family and friends to gather and for music to be played. Fast forward a few decades, and The Mussel Inn is one of New Zealand's most loved hospitality destinations. A pub, brewery and live music venue in Golden Bay on the way to the top of Te Waipounamu South Island.

The Best Nelson Tasman Accommodation Worth Travelling For

A view of Maitai Whare Iti cabins nestled within native bush in Nelson.
Nelson Tasman

From chic urban oases to luxe resorts and adventure-ready cabins, here’s the best Nelson Tasman accommodation to suit every style of traveller and every budget.

9 Nelson Tasman Walks and Where to Treat Yourself Afterwards

A view of a beach at the Abel Tasman from above.
Nelson Tasman

Nelson Tasman is the Top of the South’s destination for history, culture and varied natural landscape. It’s also a pretty neat part of New Zealand Aotearoa for a spot of walking and eating.

An Art and Interiors Lover's Guide to Nelson Tasman

A large exhibition space within The Suter Art Gallery in Nelson.
Nelson Tasman

Shopping for art doesn’t just have to be for a statement wall piece or stuffy painting. Items you can touch and use can be art too, and artisans across Nelson Tasman have you covered with galleries specialising in ceramics, glass and stylish homewares.

The Neat Taste Trail of Nelson Tasman

A woman about to eat a meal at a table inside Moutere Inn in  the Tasman District.
Nelson Tasman

A journey of edible delights and surprises for your tastebuds.

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Maitai Whare Iti

The wooden cabin set amongst bush.
Place Nelson Tasman
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If you’re looking for a rural respite, head to the heart of the Maitai Valley where surrounded by the tranquillity of the native bush, you’ll find the Maitai...

The Moutere Inn

Seating area with noticeboard on the wall at The Moutere Inn, Nelson Tasman.
Place Nelson Tasman
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The oldest pub functioning in its original building in Aotearoa and proud of it, The Moutere Inn is a definite destination in this part of Te Waipounamu.

Java Hut

Exterior of Java Hut, Māpua.
Place Nelson Tasman
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Keen to find that secret local’s coffee spot in Māpua? Make a stop at Java Hut on the main road into town.

TOAD Hall Café

Exterior of Toad Hall, Motueka.
Place Nelson Tasman
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TOAD Hall Café in Motueka is one of those places you enter once by chance, and never pass up again.

Farewell Spit Tours

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Place Golden Bay
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Offering sustainable visits to Golden Bay’s most iconic geographic feature for over 70 years, the family-run Farewell Spit Tours is the perfect way to visit this...

Trouble & Fox Boutique

Woman serving a customer at the counter at Trouble and Fox.
Place Nelson Tasman
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Hidden down an alleyway just off the main drag of downtown Nelson lies Trouble & Fox Boutique, an inviting wee spot filled with tastefully curated apparel.

The Free House

Exterior view of The Free House.
Place Nelson Tasman Editor's Pick
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Situated in an old church turned pub, The Free House is a true Nelson craft beer institution.

Parker Gallery

Two woman looking at art at Parker Gallery.
Place Nelson Tasman
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Feast your eyes on one-of-a-kind pieces from New Zealand artists.

The Courthouse Café

The blue and white Courthouse Cafe building.
Place Golden Bay
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It’s easy to see how The Courthouse Café got its name, housed as it is in Collingwood’s former courthouse.

Little Beehive Co-op

Two woman browsing at Little Beehive Co-op.
Place Nelson Tasman Editor's Pick
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A treasure trove of items made by local creatives.

Burger Culture

Bar area at Burger Culture.
Place Nelson Tasman
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You'll find delicious burgers, outrageously lush shakes, nostalgic tunes and good vibes here.

Red Gallery & Café

Customer dining at Red Gallery and Cafe.
Place Nelson Tasman
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Sit amongst art while sipping a great cup of coffee.

The Dangerous Kitchen

The colourful exterior of The Dangerous Kitchen on a sunny day.
Place Golden Bay
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Despite its moniker, the only thing truly dangerous about The Dangerous Kitchen in Tākaka, is how tasty its food is.

Hardy St Eatery

Customers dining at Hardy St Eatery.
Place Nelson Tasman
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Celebrating honest food in all its glory is what Hardy St Eatery does best.

Godzilla Recycled Clothing

A woman browsing the colourful vintage clothing at Godzilla in Nelson.
Place Nelson Tasman
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Looking to ethically revamp your wardrobe with a funky, unique edge? The racks of Godzilla Clothing in the heart of Nelson’s CBD have exactly what you need.

Rimu Wine Bar

A woman sitting next to three glasses of wine inside Rimu Wine Bar in Mapua.
Place Nelson Tasman
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For a casual-chic drinking experience in the heart of apple country, look no further than Māpua's Rimu Wine Bar.