Flights to Nelson

Sunny and creative, the Nelson Tasman region is ready to wow you with amazing national parks, wilderness beaches, cycle trails and a tasty food scene.

With high sunshine hours, a gorgeous coastal position and a passion for all things arty, Nelson has attracted creative thinkers and outdoor adventurers for generations. The people here have a natural connection with nature and a strong sense of community. For you this means a warm welcome, great food and wine, and a huge range of activities to enjoy in picture-perfect landscapes.

About our flights to Nelson

Air New Zealand has non-stop domestic flights to Nelson from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, with connecting flights from most other regional centres. With all our domestic airfares you can choose seat, seat+bag, flexitime or flexidate fare types. Auckland to Nelson flight time is one hour 25 minutes, Wellington to Nelson takes 40 minutes and Christchurch to Nelson is a 55-minute flight.

Abel Tasman National Park promises blissful one-day and multi-day kayak and hiking adventures, complete with golden sand beaches, wildlife and native forest.

Where to go and what to see in Nelson

Nelson promises an extraordinary range of cultural and outdoor adventures all within easy reach. On any day you can explore art galleries and markets, hit the beach, hike in a national park or ride cycle trails. You can also tour food producers, micro-breweries and award-winning vineyards. Accommodation options range from backpacker hostels to luxury lodges and you can count on friendly local hospitality wherever you go.

Discover local art and artisans

Nelson has always been a creative hub. It's home to longstanding cultural enterprises such as the Theatre Royal, the Suter Art Gallery and the Nelson Centre for Musical Arts. It's also where the internationally recognised World of Wearable Arts event began. And if you're looking for a magical experience, Nelson is where you'll find jeweller Jens Hansen, who created the 'one ring' for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. Maybe you can find your own ring of power?

If there's room in your luggage for some souvenir shopping, there's a fascinating range of locally-produced art, fashion and home décor accessories to discover. Galleries and craft shops are dotted around the region and the Nelson Market and Motueka's Sunday Market feature an irresistible selection of fresh foods, creative products and vintage objects. Visiting a market will put you in touch with the melting pot of cultures and strong community spirit of the Nelson Tasman region.

For peanut butter lovers of all ages, Nelson offers you the chance to visit the home of Pic's Peanut Butter. You can take a tour of the factory and have a go at making your own peanut butter to take home as a souvenir. Alternatively, you can find the full Pic's Really Good Peanut Butter range from their red and yellow striped marquee at the Nelson Market. 

Cycle scenic trails

If you like biking you'll love the numerous cycle touring, road cycling and mountain biking routes in and around the Nelson Tasman region. The Great Taste Trail encompasses 174 kilometres of easy riding, two-thirds of which is off-road. You can tackle the whole trail over three days, or simply select sections that suit your interests and appetite for exercise. As the name suggests, this scenic trail connects orchards, vineyards, breweries and restaurants where you can stop to explore flavours. Local operators offer bike hire, pick-up and shuttle services and all the helpful advice you'll need to execute an excellent bike adventure.

If mountain biking is more your thing, the 43km Dun Mountain Trail is one on New Zealand's Great Rides. Confident grade 4 (advanced) mountain bikers can tackle the whole trail, including a long technical descent, while less experienced riders can ride up and back along the less difficult first section. The trail begins at Codgers Mountain Bike Park in the heart of Nelson. One of six MTB parks in the region, Codgers has a great selection of purpose-built public trails that make it easy to put together rides from 30 minutes to several hours.

Explore local food, craft beer, cider and wine

Nelson's creative streak has led to a delicious range of artisan foods, wines, ciders and beers throughout the region. Food and wine tours make it easy to find the best local producers, so you can nibble, sip and shop to your heart's content.

From casual eats to fine dining, the top Nelson cafes and restaurants make the most of fresh local produce to create flavour-filled experiences. Seafood and vegetarian dishes feature strongly on the region's menus and there are plenty of cuisine styles to choose from. A popular choice is that of Urban Eatery Restaurant and Bar - where street meets dining - there's no shortage of incredible ingredients since this region is surrounded by the stunning ocean and the perfect climate. 

Nelson is where commercial winemaking began for New Zealand's South Island.  Sunny days and cool nights provide ideal conditions for growing exceptional grapes. Around the Richmond Foothills, Brightwater and Moutere, talented winemakers are producing sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and pinot noir that's celebrated around the world.

If you love craft beer, you'll be tickled to know that Nelson Tasman is the hop-growing centre of New Zealand. There are several boutique breweries in the region. While local brews are readily available in most restaurants and bars, visiting the region's boutique breweries will help you learn more about the craft and the people behind it. You can ride an easy 7km brewery cycle trail, pick up a map for the region-wide Nelson Craft Beer Trail or join a small-group guided tour.

Nelson Tasman is the largest cider region in New Zealand, producing over 60% of the country's cider. To celebrate, Nelson holds the annual New Zealand Cider Festival in November - along with the extraordinary landscape and cuisine in this region, it is the perfect place to celebrate all things cider!

Hike in beautiful national parks

There are three national parks less than 1.5 hours by car from Nelson city. The Abel Tasman National Park offers one-day and multi-day kayak and  hiking adventures in a beautiful coastal setting with golden sand beaches, granite cliffs, wetlands, wildlife and native forest.  There are guided and self-guided tours to choose from, with bookable campsites and hikers' huts or the option of fully-catered lodge accommodation for luxurious overnight stays.

Nelson Lakes National Park has a more alpine setting, with trails that range from short lakeside walks through native forest to multi-day mountain treks for experienced hikers. The popular network of easy tracks around Lake Rotoiti delivers spectacular views across the water to pristine mountain landscapes.

Kahurangi National Park is New Zealand's second largest. Stretching from near Golden Bay to the rugged West Coast, it features easy to advanced tracks providing access to wild rivers, coastal native forests, craggy mountain landscapes and alpine herb fields. The most well-known trail is the four-to-six day Heaphy Track, one of New Zealand's nine Great Walks.

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Find the perfect place to stay

Amber Court Motel
Amber Court Motel
190 Annesbrook Drive
per night
Kings Gate Motel
Kings Gate Motel
21 Trafalgar St, The Wood
per night

Keep exploring Nelson Tasman

Essential information

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Best time to visit Nelson

Nelson is one of the sunniest places in New Zealand and a true year-round destination. The coastal areas have mild winters and warm summers. Average daily highs range from 22°C in summer to 13°C in winter, with average lows about five degrees less throughout the year. Monthly rainfall is fairly even throughout the year, with a few more rainy days in winter. December to February, during long New Zealand holiday season, is the busiest time in Nelson.

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How much will it cost?

This will depend on your tastes and what you want to do. As a rough guide, not including air travel and hotels, you should allow about NZD $150 to $200 a day per person for food and entertainment.

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There are no mandatory vaccinations required for visitors to New Zealand.

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If you visiting Nelson from overseas you might need a visa to holiday in New Zealand, depending on where you're from and how long you're staying. See the visa-waiver list.

Cheap flights to Nelson

Auckland (AKL) to Nelson (NSN) 

1h 25m



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Wellington (WLG) to Nelson (NSN) 




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Christchurch (CHC) to Nelson (NSN) 




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*Flight times are based on the fastest route available.
**Indirect flights may also be available for this route.

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Air New Zealand - ATW Eco Airline of the Year 2019 

Air New Zealand has been crowned 'ATW Eco Airline of the Year' in the 2019 Air Transport World Airline Industry Awards.