Cockles and mussels alive, alive oh

Havelock is a small town with a population of around 500 located at the head of the Pelorus Sounds, where the Pelorus and Kaium Rivers join. It’s a great coffee stop on the drive between Blenheim and Nelson.

Colourful down-town Havelock

Once a thriving town at the centre of the timber milling industry, today, it is better known for its small boat harbour and its harvest of green-shelled mussels, and also for being the gateway to the beautiful Pelorus Sounds. The town itself is small and it’s a place to go to get away from the hustle and bustle of the major centres. However, it is well-equipped for

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St Arnaud

A place to get away from it all

Eels under the At Arnaud Jetty

St Arnaud is located on the shore of Lake Rotoiti and is a gateway and base to experience and explore the Nelson Lakes National Park. You can canoe, powerboat, water ski, windsurf and swim in the lakes in summer. In Winter, ski on the nearby Rainbow Valley Ski-field, or just curl up by the fire in one of homestays to enjoy the scenery are the activities for winter. Hiking is popular year around though the tracks can be very wet in winter.

Lakes Rotoiti and Rotoroa are the defining characteristics of the area. With beech forest to the shores around

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A rural place in between

The town of Murchison (pop 750) is near the junction of the Matakitaki and Buller Rivers, surrounded by rugged mountain ranges, and is situated on the Buller Gorge Heritage Highway some 125km south of Nelson and 300kms northwest of Christchurch.

Reflections in the mist outside of town

The town was founded on gold and saw milling and is now an important service centre for the travelling public as well as the local farming, forestry and recreation community.

In 1929 ten people died during the Murchison earthquake and the Murchison Museum has a special display about this disaster. In the quake the settlement was lifted almost half a metre, and the Murchison

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A region left out

Westland is an area bounded by the Southern Alps to the east and the Tasman Sea to the west is only 10 miles wide by some 600 miles long. At one time this region had more hotels than any other per head of population. The town of Westport once had 26 hotels on its main street, now it may have only 5.

Places to visit are the museums in most towns for relics of pioneer life. The pancake rock formations at Punakaiki. Shanti-town near the town of Greymouth, where you can pan for gold and see how the early settlers lived. There are opportunities to walk and climb in the valleys, mountains

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The Northern Center of the South Island

The Nelson and Westland districts comprise the north and entire west of New Zealand’s South Island. The region is geographically isolated from the rest of New Zealand. Nelson, Westport, Greymouth and Hokitika are the major towns with a good range of accommodation and services.

The region provides access to six national parks and wilderness areas. As such much of the recreation is centered around outdoor activities including trekking, climbing, caving, swimming, kayaking, hiking fishing and hunting. While there are cinema’s and TV, evening entertainment often centers around the local bars, or you create your own.

Nelson is a great destination for tourists. At the top of the

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Abel Tasman NP

Another centre of the universe

Abel Tasman National Park is located in Golden Bay and the Nelson area at the top of the South Island and at 22,530 hectares, is New Zealand’s smallest National Park. It is also the most changed national park in New Zealand, having been settled by Europeans and copping the destruction that is traditionally left in their wake. Despite the changes to the environment, this park is a fantastic and beautiful area of this country. Just half an hour from Motueka, with the towns Collingwood, Takaka and Kaiteriteri close by, the park is easily accessible with all the facilities you may need to have great adventures.

Things to do

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Hops, wine and tobacco

Like many NZ beaches, you often have them to yourself

Motueka is so popular over the summer months that the population swells from its usual 12,000 to about 20,000. Students are lured to the area by the seasonal work, which is readily available during the University holidays, while tourists come for the sparkling weather and the proximity to Abel Tasman National Park

The weekly Sunday Market in the centre of Motueka hosts an array of arts, crafts and bric-a-brac stalls, as well as offering market-style food. You’ll also find an abundance of independent arts & crafts galleries and small vineyards in the township and the surrounding areas. Arts and crafts

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Golden Bay

Subtropical haven

Golden Bay is a spectacular area with many diverse natural phenomenon. You’ll find lush valleys, golden sandy beaches, deep caves, springs, rocky coastlines and much more during your stay.

As well as the abundance of natural wonders, Golden Bay has an offbeat culture and is home to one of the most vibrant arts communities in the country. Many artists run independent galleries or workshops which are open to the public, with painters, silversmiths, sculptors using various materials, quilters and furniture makers, to name just a few. The information centre has an excellent leaflet giving the locations of these galleries, along with a description of each.

Two beautiful National Parks flank Golden Bay. The Abel Tasman National Park is

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Nelson Lakes NP

An outdoor adventure playground

Lake Rotoiti

This is a special recreation region in the north of the South Island of New Zealand which includes two ski areas, two spectacular lakes, expansive forests, exciting river adventures, gold-panning, nature tours, caving, hiking and mountain biking.

Over 100,000 hectares of Pure New Zealand Nelson Lakes is New Zealand’s ninth national park, and consists of 1,020 km long ranges separated by deep valleys. It covers forests, lakes, and mountains. The beech-covered landscape is broken and split by rugged mountains, some with peaks rising to 2,200m. With many lakes, including Lakes Rotoiti and Rotoroa, within its borders, Nelson Lakes is a wilderness escape typical of the South Island of New Zealand: stunning scenery

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Christchurch - Nelson

Via Lewis Pass – Drive time 5 – 6 hours

Maruia River upstream from the thermal springs resort.

From Christchurch take the Northern motorway or Marshlands Road, there is usually heavy traffic through the towns of Woodend and Amberley to the turn off at Waipara. This is not a particularly exciting drive through flat farmland and it pays to keep to the speed limit as the police are often out looking to catch their quota of speeding motorists.

The road opens out through the wine growing area of Waipara where you need to turn left (Nelson can also be reached via Kaikoura and Blenheim, but this route will add an hour or so to the journey).

At Waipara

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