Explore Nelson - Tasman
Eastern neighbour to the Marlborough region –and friendly rival for sunshine hours– the “top of the south” island is praised for its alternative lifestyle, vineyards, and great outdoors.
Two shallow bays, Tasman Bay and Golden Bay, offer a hard-to-match Mediterranean way of life and spectacular scenery with the dramatic northern end of the Alps as a backdrop. The ocean, hills, mountains, lakes, and forests offer a diverse playground for outdoor fanatics.
First contact between Māori and Pākehā
The Golden Bay shores saw the first Māori villages establish in the 13th century. Seasonal fishing, gathering, and horticulture were common to the 300+ settlements. Golden Bay is also the location of the first encounter between Māori and Europeans with Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sailing the area in 1642. Whaling stations, corn and kumara plantations were all established in the region during the 19th century. Settlers from the UK but also Germany created what is now known as Nelson city, with Germans being amongst the first to introduce wine-making to the region. The shallow harbour saw major works undertaken in the 1950s and is now an important and international trading/logistics centre. The wine industry is secondary in size compared to other regions but Nelson has been delivering quality wines domestically and to the world.