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Located 424 kms from Christchurch and 145 kms south west from Picton, Nelson (pop 46,437) is a major commercial centre for Golden Bay region.
Nelson is the second oldest settled city in New Zealand and the oldest in the
South Island. Nelson is situated in a region often known as Nelson Tasman or the
"Top of the South."
As the major regional centre, the city offers many lodgings, restaurants, and unique speciality shopping such as at the Goldsmiths where "The One Ring" in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy was designed.
Nelson has a vibrant local music and arts scene and is known nationwide for its culturally idiosyncratic craftsmen and women. These include Potters, Glass Blowers, Fibre Spectrum Handweavers & Fibre Artists' Studio and dozens of Wood carvers using native New Zealand Southern beech and exotic macrocarpa.
Nelson is a popular visitor destination and year-round attracts both New Zealanders and international tourists due to is climate regularly tops the national statistics for sunshine hours, with an annual average total of over 2400 hours per year.
The Saturday Nelson Market is well known and you can buy direct from local artists. Music lovers may attend the biennial Nelson School of Music Winter Music Festival, the Adam New Zealand Festival of Chamber Music and the annual Jazz Festival.
The Taste Nelson festival at Founders Heritage Park highlights this region's gastronomy, the Festival of Opportunities features alternative health and lifestyle possibilities, while the Suter International Film Festival screens 20 non-Hollywood films in late May to June every year.
The Nelson Kite Festival takes
advantage of the reliable sea breezes that blow inland from Tasman Bay across
Neale Park each afternoon with kite lovers arriving from around New Zealand and