Nelson shares the title of the sunniest place in New Zealand and is also the geographical center… Welcome to the middle of Middle Earth!
Nelson offers fabulous outdoor activities such as swimming and a fun park at Tahunanui Beach a great place for a picnic or to enjoy the beach cafe there.
A visit to the Founders Historic Park – a “living” museum with an adventure playground is well worth the time.
Nelson has a very quaint and easy to navigate downtown, wonderful craft beer, a nice biking/walking trail right in the center of the city near the iSite. The “one ring” in the Lord of the Rings was created here in Nelson.
If you are lucky you may get to visit the Saturday market which is considered one of the best in the country. Not only all the fresh locally grown produce and products but many artists and craftspeople display their wares and crafts.
Top Things to do in Nelson with Kids
Hike to the Center of New Zealand: A short hike that begins right in the middle of the city and will take you atop a mountain to the center of New Zealand. It is a mildly steep grade but short enough to be enjoyed by the entire family.
Take a beer tour – In Nelson there is even a brewery in an old converted church. This way you can ask God’s forgiveness for bringing your kids to a bar while you enjoy a local craft beer!
Go to Tahunanui Beach and the fun park
Visit the Saturday Market if you can
Take a bike ride down a bit of “The great wine trail“
Visit the World of Wearable Art and Classic Cars
Play at the skate park
Also, as a runner I found Nelson a wonderful place for a trail run. Follow the river for miles through rolling hills, mountains and grazing cattle!
Where to Stay with Kids in Nelson
There are several holiday parks in the region but we opted for an apartment instead.
We stayed at the Nikau appartments which gave us a full kitchen, bathroom and 2 bedrooms for the same price as it would have been to stay in the communal hostel.
The only downside that I see with apartment rentals is that it is easier to isolate yourself. But sometimes, for parents and kids alike, it can be nice to take a break and have a place to call “home” for a few days as you explore a city.
The Nikau apartments have a college dorm room feel but are still very nice for a short stay.