Come visit the ‘Top of the South’ and enjoy a seductive mix of sun, sand, whitewater, arts and crafts, fresh fruit, fine wines and succulent seafoods.

Nelson region is a pocket paradise for visitors with easy access to three stunning national parks under the sunniest skies in New Zealand. The golden sands of Abel Tasman park can be enjoyed by walking, sea kayaking and launch cruising or a combination of all three. This is New Zealand’s number one mecca for sea kayaking, awash with hidden caves, private coves, sandy inlets and wildlife playgrounds (seals, dolphins and penguins).

The Wairoa River in Nelson is one of the top ten South Island whitewater runs and a beautiful place to play in rapids and also appreciate the natural world. The put in is at the road end above the upper forks on the river road from Brightwater. The Lee River tributary is also runable in above average flows.

The Motueka River is Nelson’s biggest waterway system including the Baton and Wangapeka tributaries. The Lower Motueka is perfect for first time paddlers and scenic raft trips. The put in is at McLean’s picnic area near the Baton River junction and take out is possible at Woodstock Bridge or Ngatimoti Bridge.

The Pupu River can be run from the fascinating crystal clear Pupu Springs (the clearest water in the world) down to S.H.60 where it joins the Takaka River. Another example of Nelson’s amazing limestone landscape is the subterranean aquifers upwelling into a river system called the Riwaka Resurgence. The Riwaka River freshwater springs gush out of a deep marble cavern and flow into Tasman Bay north of the Motueka River mouth.

Guided rafting trips on the Wairoa, Motueka and other local rivers can be organised from bases in Nelson, Motueka and Murchison. Guided kayaking trips around the glorious Abel Tasman coastline as well as freedom kayak rentals, can be organised in Nelson, Motueka, Kaiteriteri and Marahau.

‘Live the Day’ is Nelson’s promotional slogan.

Nowhere else offers a more perfect summer playground for full-on water fun and adventure.