Must Do

There are so many activities for you to experience in our beautiful region – you won’t be short of things to do in Nelson.

The central location of Rutherford Hotel Nelson makes it the ideal starting point to explore the many outdoor, cultural and culinary delights in the area.

If you’d like to know more about things to do in Nelson, including information on any of the above activities, get in touch. We’re locals and we’d be happy to help you plan your activities while staying with us.

Here are our top 10 must-do activities for your stay in Nelson

  • Discover the best of the city

    the nelson market

    Nelson city has a thriving artistic and cafe culture, all within easy walking distance of Rutherford Hotel Nelson. Pop around the corner to Morrison Square or along Bridge Street for those high street and designer must-haves. Chec...

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    Nelson city has a thriving artistic and cafe culture, all within easy walking distance of Rutherford Hotel Nelson. Pop around the corner to Morrison Square or along Bridge Street for those high street and designer must-haves. Check out the stunning collection of local, national and international artwork at the Suter Art Gallery, or walk up the steps at the top end of Trafalgar St to the Christ Church Cathedral, where you’ll enjoy the lovely gardens and cathedral that towers over the town. If you are in town on a Saturday don't miss the Nelson Market, showcasing the best craftspeople and artisans, plus fresh and local produce.

    the nelson market
  • Visit WOW World of WearableArt & Classic Cars Museum

    World of Wearable Art Car Collection Nelson 4629

    Nelson was the birthplace of the famous World of Wearable Arts in 1987, and is home to an impressive collection of award-winning garments. Every autumn hundreds of entries arrive in Nelson for the judging process, vying for select...

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    Nelson was the birthplace of the famous World of Wearable Arts in 1987, and is home to an impressive collection of award-winning garments. Every autumn hundreds of entries arrive in Nelson for the judging process, vying for selection into the main event held in Wellington each year.

    Garments are created for categories from wearable art for children, through to breath-taking Avant Garde and Open Section garments and everything in between. Head along and checkout the beautiful garments alongside the Classic Car collection; there is something for everyone!

    World of Wearable Art Car Collection Nelson 4629
  • Trout Fishing Paradise

    font garden 4783

    Lake Rotoroa Lodge tucked away in a hidden valley and surrounded by the finest brown trout fishing and offering the best in hospitality. Lake Rotoroa is renowned as lying in the heart of South Island fly fishing country. This give...

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    Lake Rotoroa Lodge tucked away in a hidden valley and surrounded by the finest brown trout fishing and offering the best in hospitality. Lake Rotoroa is renowned as lying in the heart of South Island fly fishing country. This gives us access to more fishing than most other lodges in New Zealand. Our professional guides have keen eyes and local knowledge. (www.lakerotoroalodge.com)

    font garden 4783
  • Closer to Nature

    boulder bank lighthouse nelson nz

    Nelson is world-renowned for its natural beauty, and there’s plenty to see and do if you want to check out native and non-indigenous wildlife. For nature lovers, Farewell Spit is a must-do – it’s New Zealand’s longest sand spit (2...

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    Nelson is world-renowned for its natural beauty, and there’s plenty to see and do if you want to check out native and non-indigenous wildlife. For nature lovers, Farewell Spit is a must-do – it’s New Zealand’s longest sand spit (25km) as well as a nature reserve. There are a variety of eco-tours to go on, including the Farewell Spit Eco Tour, the Water Watch Tour or Gannet Colony Tour, where you can view the summer home to almost 100 bird species like Bar-tailed Godwits, Waders, Knots, Curlews, Turnstones and Whimbrels.

    Our receptionist can book you on a tour to explore many of the regions activities.

     

     

    boulder bank lighthouse nelson nz
  • Hit the beach!

    golden bay beach

    The Nelson region is renowned for its stunning sand beaches, hot summer weather and beautiful natural bush and wildlife. Closest to home is the long stretch of beach at Tahunanui, the perfect place to take the family on a hot Nels...

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    The Nelson region is renowned for its stunning sand beaches, hot summer weather and beautiful natural bush and wildlife. Closest to home is the long stretch of beach at Tahunanui, the perfect place to take the family on a hot Nelson day. Only a moment’s drive from the city centre, it's hard to beat! However, further afield the region holds more surprises. The bays of Nelson feature many gems – quirky Mapua, beautiful Ruby Bay and on to the golden sand of stunning Kaiteriteri, ushering in the beginning of the world-famous Abel Tasman National Park.

    golden bay beach
  • Find the centre of New Zealand

    Nelson New Zealand

    One of Nelson's most popular walkways marks the very centre of our country. The aptly-named Centre of New Zealand track starts at the Botanical Reserve, where you head over a footbridge from the end of Hardy Street. You can also s...

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    One of Nelson's most popular walkways marks the very centre of our country. The aptly-named Centre of New Zealand track starts at the Botanical Reserve, where you head over a footbridge from the end of Hardy Street. You can also start at the Nelson Visitor Information Centre and follow the Maitai Walkway to the Hardy Street footbridge. Keep an eye out for panels at the bottom of the hill that depict some views of Nelson over the last century, and the history of the area.

    To reach the Centre of New Zealand will take 20-60 minutes, depending on your fitness. The view from the top offers a stunning outlook over the city, the surrounding orchards and vineyards and beyond to Tasman Bay. A trip back down via the Maitai track means you can take a dip in one of the natural swimming holes of the Maitai River!

    Nelson New Zealand
  • Wining and Dining

    NelsonWineries

    Grapes were first planted in Nelson by German settlers in the 1880s and the region has a reputation for producing excellent chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and more recently, pinot noir and aromatics. Some of the 1970s producers in t...

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    Grapes were first planted in Nelson by German settlers in the 1880s and the region has a reputation for producing excellent chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and more recently, pinot noir and aromatics. Some of the 1970s producers in the region were among the pioneers of the modern industry, and are still leading the way today. Our receptionists can book you on a tour to explore the wineries.

    NelsonWineries
  • The craft brewing capital of New Zealand

    McCashinsBrewery

    The early German settlers found the Nelson area to be extremely well-suited to the cultivating of hops, and a steady beer industry has flourished since then. Craft breweries of all sizes now exist across the region, and there are ...

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    The early German settlers found the Nelson area to be extremely well-suited to the cultivating of hops, and a steady beer industry has flourished since then. Craft breweries of all sizes now exist across the region, and there are a number of fantastic half and full-day tours showcasing local beers and their story. Whether you prefer an icy pilsner or a cask-pulled ale, you’ll find it in Nelson!

    Highlights include McCashins Brewery in Stoke offering brewery tours and sales.

    Our receptionist can book you on a tour to explore the brewery.

    McCashinsBrewery
  • The walkway capital of the world

    hiking in the kahurangi national park

    With more than 40 walks available within 16 kilometres of the city, the Nelson region offers something for every level of hiker and tramper. From short day walks around the city itself, up to multiple day adventures through the st...

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    With more than 40 walks available within 16 kilometres of the city, the Nelson region offers something for every level of hiker and tramper. From short day walks around the city itself, up to multiple day adventures through the stunning Abel Tasman National Park, the Nelson Lakes National Park, or the mountainous Kahurangi National Park, there are many ways to experience the jaw-dropping landscape of the region.

    From the hidden beach coves of the Abel Tasman National Park, to the mountainous plateaus seen on the Heaphy Track, the Nelson region is a must-do on the bucket list of many hikers. Our receptionists can book you on a tour with Wilsons Abel Tasman Tours to explore the amazing Abel Tasman National Park.

    hiking in the kahurangi national park
  • Get a taste local Māori culture

    p555enz

    Learn about local Māori custom and history with a visit to the Whakatu Marae. You can participate in an arts and crafts workshop, or learn te haka – a Māori war dance. You can also take a guided walk through local bush and learn a...

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    Learn about local Māori custom and history with a visit to the Whakatu Marae. You can participate in an arts and crafts workshop, or learn te haka – a Māori war dance. You can also take a guided walk through local bush and learn about edible and medicinal plants.

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