Nelson is very unknown for the backpacker in New Zealand, it plays home to many ex-pats and international students from around the world but when backpackers and tourists alike visit New Zealand it isn’t always a priority stop.
During my trip around New Zealand we hadn’t planned to stop in Nelson, as the bus we were travelling on didn’t have an overnight stop on the route we were taking, however when my mother let me know that she had a family friend in Nelson I decided it was the perfect opportunity to get off the beaten backpacker track and take a weekend out in Nelson.
Nelson is classed as a city because of the cathedral that sits in the centre of town, it plays hosts to a market every Saturday and has an abundance of water sports and beach activities for you to get your hands on. I arrived on a Friday and left on a Monday and it just was not enough time!
However, we did have a jam-packed weekend from the off. When Jennie, my mums friend got home from work we sat on he incredible balcony sipping wine looking over the sea and Rabbit Island. We were then treated to an amazing DIY pizza and we slumped off too bed after a long day on the bus. However the next day we were up early ready to see Nelson!
We went off in to the town centre where they had a lovely Saturday morning market in a car park, which sold everything under the sun from bracelets, to pear juice, to Chinese spring rolls, to rugs and even to wooden ornaments! You could literally pickup birthday presents for everyone you know at this market! We were then lucky enough to be whisked off to a wine tasting with Jennie and Darren which was incredible and something I have always wanted to do. It was situated in a tiny remote area outside Nelson and we had wine, more wine and even more wine. We then teamed up the wine with a platter full of Mediterranean delicacies! We then also visited WOW – The World of a Wearable Art and Car Collection which was an eye opener and something I would definitely recommend if you go to Nelson. It’s unique to Nelson and has left a legacy on the city!
That evening to my surprise we had a BBQ! In October, how great is that! It was luckily a great weekend weather wise whilst we were in Nelson so Darren popped on the BBQ and we had steak and wine over looking the sea again!
Sunday bought another busy day, with an early wake up for paddle boarding! Which by the way is a new fave of mine, I’ve since also been paddle boarding down a river and plan to do even more in Australia! Me, Katie, Darren and Sam jumped on the boards and went out in to the bay for an hour. It was great fun and I am so glad we did it – even if I did get bitten alive by sandflies!
We then went on a speed boat! Darren and Jennie owned a boat – we are told the majority of people around Nelson own a boat, as it’s the lifestyle that exists in this area. Even though it was a little choppy and we were constantly being thrown around the boat it was an experience to say the least and I am really thankful Darren took us to show us the bay.
After a long weekend, full of activities, wine and food we were knackered! We were so lucky with the weather as we got to see Nelson at its best, in the sunshine enjoying what the city has to offer! I would 100% recommend any backpacker passing through the north of the South Island to stop here for a weekend and really indulge in the Kiwi lifestyle of booze, boats and boarding!
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