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Nelson Region Major Towns

Blenheim

Blenheim claims to be the sunniest town in New Zealand, with an estimated average of 2,430 hours of sunshine a year.

Blenheim is an idea base for those who aim to follow the Marlborough Wine Trail. Every year, on the second weekend in February, Blenheim hosts the Marlborough Food & Wine Festival.

Motueka

This colourful, slightly alternative town serves the local hops, apple, pear and berry growers. It's also a base for hikers enroute to the walking trails of the Abel Tasman and Kahurangi National Parks. You'll find many interesting cafés and restaurants.

At the Riwaka Resurgence the river emerges from a marble cave with crystal-clear pools; perfect for swimming. Artists, painters, potters, sculptors, wood turners, carvers and weavers are plentiful in the area.

Murchison

The town of Murchison looks after the local farming community and provides a base for adventure seekers. Accommodation options range from holiday parks and hostels to motels and pub rooms. Have a go at trout fishing, or panning for gold. You could discover a fortune – or at least catch breakfast!

Hire a bike and go for a spin on the many long mountain biking trails. Go jet-boating or white-water rafting on the Matakitaki, Mangles or Buller rivers.

Nelson

The fourth largest urban centre in the South Island has a wealth of history built around a bustling central township of cool cafés and restaurants. Nelson's sense of taste extends beyond fine food and wine to a healthy fascination with the arts.

Visit the World of WearableArt & Collectable Car gallery. There's an amazing collection of New Zealand art at the Suter Te Aratoi o Whakatu.

Picton

The quaint town of Picton is the entry point for most travellers to the South Island. Situated in the heart of Queen Charlotte Sound, it is where the Cook Strait ferries berth to disgorge trains, cars and travellers. The Picton waterfront is dotted with cool cafés, restaurants and craft shops.

Catch a sea tour of the Sounds, go dolphin watching or hook up with a fishing trip. Charter a yacht – with or without a skipper.

Richmond

Richmond acts as a service centre for the rich stone-fruit and berry industries that surround the region. There is also one of the leading microbreweries in New Zealand, McCashin's Brewery, producing a line of premium ales from locally-grown hops, malts and pure water to develop a range of distinctive full-bodied flavours.

There are many comfortable homestays and farm stays in the area.
Richmond is handy to many of the region's numerous attractions.

St Arnaud

This small town is great for travellers who want to explore the Nelson Lakes National Park. You'll find a good choice of accommodation – from campsites and backpacker lodges to log cabins and well-appointed hotel rooms.

Enjoy one-day walks in the Nelson Lakes National Park. Have a go at fishing for a fat brown trout on Lake Rotoroa.