Discovering the charms of the “luckiest place in New Zealand”

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Today we’re joined by Noel, an experienced and deeply knowledgeable local guide from Nelson, New Zealand. Noel is an expert on the region’s environment and natural history, and also all things wine-related. He’s here to tell us a bit about what makes Nelson such a blessed part of New Zealand, and a definite must-visit on your next trip to this island nation.

Nelson, at the top of the South Island, must be the luckiest place in New Zealand. It has the most sunshine hours in the country and is surrounded by the sparkling Tasman Sea and three National Parks and reserves. The fertile soil of Nelson acts as a veritable food bowl for the rest of New Zealand and the city is renowned for horticulture, fishing, forestry, wine and the arts.

This city hosts the legendary World of Wearable Art Museum and is alive year round with art festivals, jazz festivals, music festivals and much, much more.

There are more restaurants and cafes in Nelson per capita than anywhere else in New Zealand, and boasts two of the top six restaurants in the country: Hopgoods and Boutereys. Establishments like The Boatshed, Relish and many others live up to a high standard as well.

The Nelson region is a mecca for outdoor activities such as tramping (that’s Kiwi for ‘hiking”), sea kayaking, fishing, kite surfing and mountain biking.

Nelson Airport is the fourth busiest in New Zealand and provides easy access to other parts of the country. But don’t fly away too soon! It’s worth staying in the region for several days so you can explore Abel Tasman, Kahurangi and Nelson Lakes National Parks, as well as the stunning and diverse Golden Bay.

The world famous Sauvignon Blanc wine growing region of Marlborough is only one and a half hours away. Nelson’s own vineyards are all small, family-owned properties producing top class wines of their own; they’re well worth checking out.

If you’re planning a trip to New Zealand anytime soon, be sure to make the South Island – and Nelson in particular! – a stop on your itinerary. Consider starting a conversation with Noel before you go. You can find him here: Noel’s Guide Profile Page.
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