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Updated: 7 December 2011

Nelson has a mild sunny climate year round and boasts magnificent landscapes, from alpine lakes and raging rivers to wide sandy coastlines. These landscapes provide a backdrop for leisurely adventures, such as kayaking, walking and skiing, or for enjoying one of the region’s many beaches.

Photo courtesy of Nelson Tasman Tourism

Photo courtesy of Nelson Tasman Tourism

Getting to Nelson


Nelson Airport (external link) is an 8km drive from the city centre. Regular domestic services run by Air New Zealand and Sounds Air (external links) connect Nelson with several major South Island centres and Wellington in the North Island.

Taxi and shuttle services operate daily from the front of the terminal and a number of rental car agencies are located within the terminal building. Short and long term parking is available.


Nelson is 110km from the Port of Marlborough, Picton. This port receives daily ferry sailings by Interislander and Bluebridge (external links) across Cook Strait to Wellington in the North Island.


Nelson is a 2 hour, 110km drive from Picton, a 5.5 hour, 210km journey from Wellington (including the ferry trip) and a 6 hour, 430km drive from Christchurch. Find out more travel times and distances from Nelson.

Want the latest information on road networks in and around the South Island? Check out the up-to-date information on highway conditions and view our real-time traffic webcams.

A range of intercity bus and shuttle services are available. Contact your nearest i-Site (external link) for bus and shuttle service availability and bookings.

Getting around Nelson

Walking, cycling and taking the bus (external links) are all options for getting around Nelson.

Visitors taking the self-drive option can go to Automobile Association of New Zealand (external link) for access to Nelson road maps. These maps also have information on parking options and bus stops around Nelson.