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Nelson is a small regional city at the geographic centre of New Zealand. It is the South Island’s oldest city, and one of the sunniest places in the country. It has excellent cafes, restaurants and pubs.

Christ Church Cathedral dominates Trafalgar Square and acts as a point of reference in the city centre. It is backed by beautiful gardens, and Trafalgar Street, which is loaded with shops and alfresco restaurants, runs out from here. The main attractions in the city are the Suter Art Gallery and the World of WearableArt Museum. The Nelson Provincial Museum in the centre of the city is an excellent account of the region’s history, and is much too often skipped over.

There are plenty of adventure activities that you can do within a short distance of Nelson. To the south is Nelson Lakes National Park, where you can hike, ski, kayak or go jet boating. To the north are Golden Bay and the scenic Abel Tasman National Park, with waterfalls, beaches, and forests that are great for hiking and kayaking.

Local transport

NBus operate five local bus routes in the Nelson area. Route 5 is the most useful route, running from Nelson city centre to Tahunanui Beach and the World of WearableArt.

Bus fares are based on a zone system with four fare zones covering Nelson and the suburban area. Most areas of interest are in zones one and two with Nelson City in zone one and Tahunanui in zone two. A ride in one zone costs $2.50 ($20 for 10 trips) and a ride covering two zones costs $3 ($24 for 10 trips).

All bus routes terminate at the Nelson Travel Centre at 27 Bridge Street.

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