Aerial view of Nelson, New Zealand - By Alex E. Proimos
Credit/Licence flickr: By Alex E. Proimos

Known as the sunniest region in New Zealand, Nelson is just as much a cultural centre as it is a place of recreational activity. The place is brimming with art galleries and studios, alfresco cafes, fine dining restaurants, boutique breweries and gourmet foods. As the birthplace of the world famous wearable art movement, you'll find plenty of galleries and studios featuring wild, wacky and wonderful items of clothing.

Surrounded by mountains on three sides with Tasman Bay on the other, Nelson is an enchanting city that serves as the gateway to some other fine bush country - the Abel Tasman National Park, the Kahurangi National Park and Rotoiti and Rotoroa in the Nelson Lakes National Park.

Nelson is a centre for both ecotourism and adventure tourism, and caving enthusiasts flock to Takaka Hill and Mt Owen for the extensive cave system. With its temperate climate and safe swimming beaches, the area is an all-year-round holiday destination.

Nelson's Maitai River flows through the town and driving for just 10 minutes along the banks of the river will leave the impression you are way out of town. Regular outdoor music festivals featuring national and international performers are held along the river throughout the year.

Nelson is surround by orchards, vineyards and organic farms growing some of the world’s best apples and kiwi fruit. The Taste Nelson festival is held each year to celebrate the areas culinary delights. The event is a showcase for the many delectable restaurants and cafes around the region.