Since we are spending quite a bit of time in the one spot I thought I would do a little round up of the best things we have found to do in Nelson. Bear in mind these all have to be child friendly, I am sure there is another perhaps more sophisticated side to Nelson that is just not ready to have a five year old unleashed on it. They are not in any particular order, I find it hard to pick just one favourite in any part of my life.
- Tahunanui Beach – This spot makes it very easy to fill a day. The beach is beautiful and with views of the mountains as you take your beach side stroll it’s just that little bit special. Tahunanui also boasts a large and varied playground. With a nature park, miniature train track, beach side cafe, even a library, this is the perfect place to hang out with your little ones.
- Explore the markets – Nelson has so many markets and we have explored a few in our time here. I love a good market so have really enjoyed this side of Nelson’s culture. The weekend markets in the city are amazing and we also really liked a market that we went to in Isel Park. But I think you could pick any one and find something great to come away with.
- Taste of Nelson cycle trail – The place we have been based at in Richmond backs on to part of this track so we have spent a bit of time on it. We in particular enjoy the sections that follow the water, makes for interesting (and flat!) riding.
- Rabbit Island – Just a short drive from Richmond is Rabbit Island. Another great spot for a stroll on the beach, or a ride/walk through the pine forest. There are plenty of picnic facilities out here and I imagine it’s a busy place in summer.
- Matai Valley – Tucked up in the hills the Matai Valley has a bunch of cycle trails and walking tracks. Lot’s of opportunity’s to picnic and enjoy the outdoors.
- Kina Beach – One of the best spot’s we have camped at so far. Literally beach front parking, $5 a night per person to stay and miles of rocky beach to explore at low tide. And if you strike better weather than we did you might try out the outdoor bath tub that you can light a fire under for a lovely warm soak. It’s also a short drive from here to Mapua, a charming little waterside town with a handful of interesting shops and eatery’s.
- Founders Heritage Park – We went here one saturday lured with the promise of a train ride. But we found enough to fill most of our day. There are rail car rides on Saturday’s, displays of old fire engines, buses and even a huge old plane that was used to carry mail across the cook strait, as well as an array of displays on Nelson’s history. Next door is a japanese garden’s and it is close to a well paved, very scenic part of cycle trail.