Inner City Luxury Accommodation

Nelson · New Zealand

Things To Do

The Nelson region offers an abundance of things to do, see and to enjoy.

It would be impossible to list everything - there is simply too much. Here we just want to give you a few ideas as to what you might like to do whilst you are staying at Cambria House. Everything listed is either within walking distance or a short drive from Cambria.

We make a real effort to keep up to date with what is available. As part of our service to you we offer a free advisory and booking service. Send us an EMAIL to let us know what interests you and we can either send you information prior to your arrival or have the information ready for you once you arrive.

Most activities can be undertaken all year round due to the fact that Nelson has one of the best climates in New Zealand (it consistently rates as the place with the most hours of sunshine). Summer months are warm and sunny. In winter the days are often crisp and clear and the evenings cool.

Arts , Crafts & Culture

weaversgalleryNelson is full of talented and interesting craftspeople many of whom you can see working in their own environments. With over 300 full time artists Nelson well deserves its reputation as the arts and crafts capital of New Zealand - what attracts so many artists to Nelson? The natural environment, the climate, the varying landscapes and the supportive, friendly community.

To be able to buy directly from the artists and know something of "its origin and something of the creator, provides an added perspective to the work."

A guide to artists in the Nelson Region

New Zealand Wearable Arts
This New Zealand icon event takes art off the wall to adorn the body in wildly, wonderful ways.

Saturday Market

  • Even before the sun comes up on a Saturday there is the hustle and bustle of activity in the main centre of town as bakers, cheesemakers, weavers, sandal makers, organic apple growers, pickle preservers, the egg man and the possum skin curers set up stalls ready for the weekly market. Wander around the stalls, drink freshly brewed coffee, share a blueberry muffin, buy some local pottery, enjoy the sunshine. This is Nelson.
  • Ceramic Artists and Potters - wide variety of works from the functional to brightly coloured display pieces.
  • Painters - Visit galleries such as The Suter or The Rutherford Art Gallery or individual artists.
  • Textiles - Much is wool based - weavers, knitted woollen garments.
  • Wood Turners, Sculptors, Glass Blowers, Jewellers

Nelson is a great place to purchase gifts for friends or for yourself. To make it easy for you we have put together a shopping guide which you'll find in your room folder. This will help you find gifts that are suited to your individual taste.

Eating Out & Relaxing

Nelson has a wide range of places to eat and drink at ranging from International standard gourmet cuisine at high class restaurants to casual cafes and sushi and espresso carts right on the main street. Whatever it is you feel like - be it casual Italian, scallops and fresh fish on the waterfront, a lazy afternoon in a local vineyard café, sitting by a fire in a English-type pub or an intimate candle light dinner for two the Nelson Region has something to offer you. You'll find that all places take advantage of the abundance of fresh produce from around the region.

boatshedBecause we recognise that your eating out experience is an important ingredient in your enjoyment of the region we make sure we keep right up to date with what restaurants are offering. We also listen carefully to feedback from guests and are then able to offer you advice depending on what you are looking for. We have also put together a Cambria Guide to Eating Out in the Nelson Region which contains menus and articles.

Nelson Waterfront
Experience the magic of the beautiful Nelson Waterfront: panoramic views, turquoise water, lively harbour, yachts, sunsets and the best of New Zealand Cuisine.

Innercity beach at Tahunanui which is 6km long. A short drive away is the long beach at Rabbit Island (lots of private spots). Beautiful golden sands at the popular Kaiteriteri Beach. There are many other beautiful beaches in the Abel Tasman National Park. All beaches have safe swimming for all ages.

Two rivers run through the centre of Nelson - The Maitai and The Brook. The Maitai has a 6km walking track which runs up one side. Here there are lots of swimming holes and picnic spots. Out of town there are a number of other beautiful rivers which are also great for picnics and swimming.

Latitude Nelson
The official tourism organisation for the Nelson/Tasman region - the northwest corner of New Zealand's South Island

Abel Tasman National Park Nelson Enterprises
The Original Scenic Launch Cruise and Water Taxi, from Kaiteriteri and Marahau.

New Zealand Tourism Board
The official website for destination New Zealand

Wineries, Breweries & Distilleries

localsThe Nelson area is one of New Zealand's fastest growing wine regions with the annual output increasing dramatically each year. The climate here with its high annual sunshine hours is ideal for the production of excellent wine. Varieties synonymous with the region include Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. The most popular are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Six of the Wineries have cafés where you can sit outside, enjoy the sun, a delicious lunch and a glass or two of wine. Winery tours are also available.

Click here to visit Nelson Wine

Breweries Nelson is now nationally recognised for its high standard of boutique style beers. The region has a number of well established micro-breweries producing light ales through to heavy stouts. Nelson is the only region in New Zealand where hops is grown.

Nelson's oldest brewery, McCashins uses traditional methods of brewing. They offer daily tours and tastings. Founders Brewery, established by a 5th generation Nelson brewer is New Zealand's first certified organic brewery. Founders offer tours, tastings and lunches.

In Nelson city there is the South Pacific Distillery which is New Zealand's premier rum distillery and also offers a full range of distilled grain spirits. The Distillery offers tours and has a shop. Free tastings. Fruit wines are made in the Moutere Valley at Redwood Cellars as are cream liquers and spirits.

For your interest we have collected articles on the different wineries and breweries.

National Parks - Abel Tasman, Nelson Lakes, Kahurangi

outdoorsThe Nelson region has three National Parks within 90 minutes drive of each other.

  • Abel Tasman National Park - This is the smallest National Park in New Zealand. It has beautiful sand beaches, walking, kayaking, lodges on the waters edge, boating, fishing, seal & bird watching. This Park is home to one of New Zealand's most popular walks - The Abel Tasman Track. The track is designated as a Great New Zealand Walk of which there are only nine in New Zealand.
  • Nelson Lakes National Park - True Alpine National Park with snow skiing, outside ice skating and snowboarding in the winter and fishing, boating and swimming in summer. Great walking and hiking around the lakes and into the mountains. Heavy emphasis on conservation and protection of endangered species.
  • Kahurangi National Park - New Zealand's 2nd largest National Park - remote, untouched wild and rich in plants and animals. Home to another of New Zealand's Great Walks - The Heaphy Track.

skiAdventure & The Great Outdoors

  • Sea Kayaking - half day, twilight, full day or multi-day kayak and walk options to choose from in calm coastal locations with stunning beaches and scenery. Fully catered or freedom options available.
  • Swimming - Nelson beaches offer safe swimming in coves or on wide sandy beaches. Great river swimming too.
  • Yachting - full day, twilight or multi-day trips in the Abel Tasman and Marlborough Sounds.
  • Horse riding on nearby farmland or in the Western Ranges of the Kahurangi National Park.
  • Skydiving - jump with an instructor from either 9000 or 12000 feet.
  • Snow Skiing - The Rainbow Skifield within one and a half hours drive of Nelson offering skiing, outdoor ice skating and snow boarding.
  • Golf - The region has three fine golf courses (9 and 18 holes). Picturesque valleys, forest and seaside locations.
  • Fishing - Deep sea charter fishing or explore many of the regions world famous brown trout rivers.
  • World class white water rafting ranging from day, multi-day trips and trips where access is by helicopter only. Beautiful forest scenery.
  • Seal Swim - Swim with the seals in the Abel Tasman National Park.
  • Mountain Biking and 4 Wheel Drive Motorbiking.

Gardens & History

cathedralNelson's varied landscape and climate means that there are a diverse range of gardens and historic houses to visit. A few are mentioned below but there are many more.For those who have an interest in this area there are comprehensive brochures available which detail Historic Walks and Garden Tours.

  • Miyazu Japanese Gardens - authentic Japanese Garden which is named after Nelson's sister city in Japan - Miyazu.
  • Gardens of the World - Magnificent large garden with plants divided into geographical sections.
  • Queens Gardens - Traditional Victorian Garden in the centre of town with mature trees, rose gardens and duck ponds.
  • Isel House & Gardens - Original House built in the 1850's. Large grounds with mature trees and mass plantings of bulbs and perennials. Stunning in Spring.
  • Broadgreen House & Garden - Old cob home built around 1855. Beautiful gardens with mature trees and large rose gardens.

Events Calendar

There is always something on in Nelson. Below is a list of the regular events but there are a lot more. You can get more information on events by checking here .All the events listed below are held annually unless specified otherwise.

  • Mid Dec - End Jan - Sealord Summer Festival
  • January - Nelson Kite Festival
  • February - Health & Lifestyles Festival of Opportunities - Festival of Chamber Music
  • March - Classic and Antique Boat Show
  • April - Mapua Easter Fair
  • July - Blessing of the Fleet
  • July/August - Nelson School of Music Winter Music Festival
  • September - Arts Festival
  • December - Nelson Jazz Festival