Nelson, New Zealand Cruise Port
If you love culture against a backdrop of natural beauty, then set sail for the cruise port of Nelson, New Zealand. Located in the Tasman Bay on New Zealand's South Island, this city of around 50,000 residents is considered the geographical center of the country. Established by the English in 1841 and named for British officer Horatio Nelson, it was proclaimed a city by royal charter in 1858. With a thriving art scene, its annual celebrations include the Nelson Arts Festival; one of the most popular attractions is the World of WearableArt & Classic Cars Museum (WOW). Thanks to its many hours of sunlight (over 2,500 of them), the city has achieved the cheerful nickname "Sunny Nelson." Along with culture, history, and nature, Nelson has a multitude of shopping and dining experiences to uncover. Listed below are a handful of our favorite experiences when cruising to Nelson, New Zealand:
- For Nelson's history, visit Founders Heritage Park. This living museum features a vintage railway, along with shops that sell artisan foods and locally-made arts and crafts. The structures that make up the museum are a combination of historic replicas and donate original buildings. There's a café onsite or picnic area if you bring your own refreshments.
- A classical Victorian park that provides an oasis in the city center, Queens Gardens opened in 1892 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee. Along with diverse plant life, the garden features a pond, sculptures, fountains, and a Boer War Memorial.
- Located near Mount Arthur and first explored by cavers in 1969, Nettlebed Cave is formed from limestone and once thought to be the deepest system in the southern hemisphere. A tree nettle near the entrance gives the cave its name; all of its passages can take a couple of days to explore.
- For nature of a different kind, a trip to Abel Tasman National Park is in order. Not only can you explore the various flora and fauna in the park, but the most notable feature is its golden sandy beaches. You can walk the park on your own or take a guide (or a kayak).