10 Outdoor Things to Do in Nelson Tasman

The Nelson Tasman region, located at the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island, uniquely combines breathtaking natural landscapes and a thriving…

The Nelson Tasman region, located at the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island, uniquely combines breathtaking natural landscapes and a thriving arts community. This area is famous for its wide range of outdoor activities that appeal to all kinds of people, from the daring adventurer to the nature enthusiast. Here are ten outdoor activities that showcase the very best of what this stunning region has to offer:

1. Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park is a small but breathtaking national park at the top of New Zealand’s South Island. The park is famous for its stunning beaches, hiking trails, kayaking, boat tours, flora and fauna, and cultural and historical significance. Visitors can explore the park’s coastline and lush native bush and enjoy the area’s scenic beauty. The park is accessible, with water taxi services providing transport to various points along the coast, and has well-maintained visitor facilities. Abel Tasman offers something special for everyone, regardless of whether you are an avid hiker, a kayak enthusiast, or simply someone who enjoys being in nature.

2. Kite Surfing at Tahunanui Beach

Tahunanui Beach in New Zealand is a must-visit for kite surfing enthusiasts. The beach has consistent sea breezes, calm waters, and an expansive shoreline, making it ideal for kite surfing. The beach also has a lively kite surfing community, several kite surfing schools, and designated areas for the sport, ensuring a safe experience for all. Apart from kite surfing, Tahunanui Beach also offers other activities, such as stand-up paddleboarding, swimming, and beach volleyball. The beach is well-equipped with facilities, including cafes, picnic areas, and playgrounds.

3. Kahurangi National Park

Kahurangi National Park is a large and diverse national park in New Zealand. It is famous for its Heaphy Track, a 78.4-kilometer multi-day hike. The park has rare flora and fauna, including the great-spotted kiwi. Visitors can enjoy various outdoor activities, including mountain biking, fishing, hunting, and caving. The park has several entry points, with well-maintained huts and campsites available along the Heaphy Track and other trails. The park has a rich Māori history, and there are ongoing conservation efforts to protect its native wildlife and restore its natural habitats.

4. Nelson Lakes National Park

Nelson Lakes National Park is a picturesque destination with clear alpine lakes, native forests, and rugged mountain ranges. It offers various experiences in some of New Zealand’s most stunning natural landscapes. The park has two major glacial lakes, Lake Rotoiti and Lake Rotoroa, known for their crystal-clear waters and scenic beauty. It’s a haven of native beech forests, offering a habitat for various birdlife, including the bellbird and tui.

Numerous tracks suit all fitness and experience levels, along with excellent trout fishing and other water activities. The park offers a variety of camping options, from well-serviced campgrounds to backcountry huts. Nelson Lakes National Park is easily accessible from Nelson City, Blenheim, or Westport, making it an ideal day trip or longer-stay destination.

5. Mountain Biking in Codgers Trails

10 Outdoor Things to Do in Nelson Tasman

Nelson’s Codgers Trails provide an extensive mountain biking network for all skill levels, located near the city centre and winding through native and exotic forests. The well-maintained trails offer stunning views of the hills, valleys, and city. Facilities and amenities are available at the trailhead, including parking and toilets, with bike rentals, gear shops, and cafes nearby. The Codgers MTB Park offers a skills area for practising techniques. The local mountain biking community is welcoming and hosts regular group rides, workshops, and events. Riders must follow safety guidelines and respect the natural environment.

6. Tahunanui Beach

Tahunanui Beach is a popular destination in Nelson, New Zealand. It offers relaxation, swimming, water sports, playgrounds, facilities, a nearby zoo, dining, shopping, events, walking, jogging trails, and accessibility. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or family fun, its beautiful setting and various activities make it a standout destination in the Nelson region.

7. Skydiving Over Abel Tasman

Skydiving over Abel Tasman offers an exhilarating experience with unparalleled aerial views of the stunning Abel Tasman National Park. You can choose to jump from 9,000, 13,000, or 16,500 feet, with the possibility of seeing the North Island if you choose the latter. Tandem jumps with experienced instructors ensure safety and accessibility for first-time skydivers. Video and photo packages are available to capture the once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Operators offer various jump altitudes year-round, weather permitting. After the freefall, you’ll enjoy a serene glide back to the ground. Skydiving operators in the region are committed to sustainable practices. Skydiving over Abel Tasman promises a thrilling encounter with the natural beauty of New Zealand.

8. Kayaking in the Marlborough Sounds

Skydiving over Abel Tasman is an unforgettable experience that combines the thrill of freefall with the stunning beauty of nature. You’ll witness the breathtaking Abel Tasman National Park as you ascend. On clear days, you can see the panoramic views of both the North and South Islands. Tandem jumps are the preferred option, and you’ll be securely attached to a professional instructor who will guide you through the process. Many operators offer video and photo packages to capture this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Skydiving over Abel Tasman is accessible to many people, with operators providing various jump altitudes to suit different comfort levels. It’s available year-round, weather permitting, making it a versatile option for visitors. The gentle descent after the freefall allows you to appreciate the tranquillity of Abel Tasman. Skydiving over Abel Tasman is an adventure that offers a unique way to experience one of New Zealand’s most stunning locations.

9. Cable Bay Walkway

The Cable Bay Walkway is a beautiful coastal track near Nelson that offers stunning panoramic views, diverse landscapes, and historical significance. Hikers can experience native flora and fauna, seabirds, and marine life. The track is approximately 8 kilometres long and takes 3 to 4 hours to complete. The walkway is well-maintained but can be steep and challenging in some places.

There are no facilities along the walkway, so hikers need to carry water and snacks. The Cable Bay Walkway is an excellent way to connect with nature and escape the hustle and bustle of city life. It’s ideal for a day trip and can easily be combined with other attractions. The walk showcases the rugged coastal beauty of the Nelson region. It leaves hikers with lasting memories of its panoramic vistas.

10. Maitai Valley

Maitai Valley is a serene retreat near Nelson City in New Zealand that offers a variety of outdoor activities amidst stunning natural beauty. The valley has safe swimming holes, walking and hiking trails, picnic spots, birdwatching opportunities, and bike-friendly paths. It’s easily accessible, equipped with basic amenities, and occasionally hosts community events. Visiting Maitai Valley is a refreshing and rejuvenating outdoor experience with the perfect blend of relaxation, recreation, and natural beauty.

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