Nelson Information

A few basics...

New Zealand is one country consisting of two main islands - 'The North Island and the South Island'.

The distance between the two islands is approximately 18 miles or 29km, travel between the two islands is either by ferry crossings (passengers & vehicles) via Wellington on the North Island and Picton on the South Island or domestic flights departing from various locations throughout New Zealand, see travel info & links below.

The Nelson Region is located at the top of New Zealand's South Island and is sometimes referred to as 'the Nelson Bays', it is divided into two districts; Nelson City and the Tasman District.  (It is worth noting that there is also a suburb or village called 'Tasman' which is located within the Tasman District, this can be slightly confusing especially to people new to the area). 

Currently the combined population of Nelson and Tasman is around 93,500 and this figure is constantly growing, in 2012 Tasman was the fastest growing area in New Zealand and the trend looks set to continue as Nelson and Tasman real estate continues to receive increased interest from potential new residents and investors from other parts of the country and beyond.

Port Nelson is the largest fishing port in Australasia with fishing, forestry, agriculture, horticulture and tourism all playing an important role in the local economy. Nelson Airport is the fourth busiest airport in New Zealand and has undergone extensive expansion during 2017/2018 to accommodate the increase in domestic flights operated by Air New Zealand, Jetstar, Originair, Sounds Air and others. This is a popular form of travel in New Zealand and offers a fast, convenient and cost effective option when traveling to other parts of the country.

Nelson is one of the sunniest places in New Zealand and known for its diversity especially as it is situated within easy reach of many beautiful beaches, national parks providing excellent tramping, amazing kayaking, cycling and skiing and Nelson is also the gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park.

There are strong links with the arts & crafts, it's an area that seems to release the creativity in people resulting in many artists making Nelson their home, their work is displayed in all kinds of interesting galleries across the region.

Local vineyards, many of which produce award winning internationally recognized wines can be visited and their wines can be sampled at the cellar door or enjoyed with a delicious meal from local cafés or restaurants; their menus invariably include fresh local produce as Nelson is lucky enough to be blessed with a naturally abundant supply of local fresh fish, meat, vegetables and fruit.

Traveling to Nelson...

The majority of international flights arrive & depart from Auckland International Airport on the North Island or Christchurch International Airport on the South Island. A limited international flight service is operated from Wellington Airport including the Trans-Tasman crossing to/from Australia.

Nelson can then be reached by the following:- 

Domestic Flights

Air New Zealand and Jetstar operate domestic flights throughout New Zealand. Check the Air New Zealand and Jetstar websites for the full range of domestic airports and flights available.

The flight times below give you an idea of the approximate flight times from the international airports.

Approximate domestic fight times.  (check in

Christchurch to Nelson      -       50 minutes 

Auckland to Nelson          -        1 hours 25 

Wellington to Nelson        -        35 minutes

Ferry Crossings - traveling between the North and South Island

If you are traveling from the North Island to the South Island and not flying, you will need to catch the ferry that travels between Wellington and Picton.  Check this link for directions and approximately travel times. Once in Picton, head towards Nelson, there are coaches and bus services that operate between Picton and Nelson.

Handy Travel Info Links-

Main International Airports  -

Auckland (AKL)                     (North Island)

Christchurch (CHC)                 (South Island)


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