10 Fun Things to Do in Richmond© Richmond Unlimited
10 Fun Things to Do in Richmond

10 Best Things to Do in Richmond

© Richmond Unlimited

What to Do in Richmond, Nelson’s Large Small Town

Richmond has the best of every world: the conveniences of a large town with plenty of shops and eateries to explore while keeping its undeniable small-town charm. It’s a hotspot for foodies, with wineries and breweries being part of the restaurant scene. Those seeking a bit of adventure will also find it in Richmond thanks to it being a major highlight of the Great Taste Trail, having awesome cycle trails on Rabbit Island, and being just a stone’s throw away from the wilderness wonderland of the Mt Richmond Forest Park. Discover what you could be getting up to in this fun town in the Nelson Tasman region with this list of things to do in Richmond.

1. Take a Stroll Around Washbourn Gardens

Wander through this picturesque part of Richmond with plenty to see! Washbourn Gardens is full of colour year-round with stunning floral displays in the Fushcia House, The Fernery and the Begonia House. Check out the historical Old Richmond Gaol here too.

Location: Oxford Street

Pixnio © Pixnio

2. Tour the Vineyards and Wineries

Richmond is the main hub of the Waimea Plains, a thriving wine-growing region with plenty of wineries opening their cellar doors for wine tastings. See our 23 Nelson Wineries on the Nelson Wine Trail for Richmond wineries well worth checking out!

Location: All over Richmond.

George Guille Media - Nelson Tasman © George Guille Media - Nelson Tasman

3. Sample Craft Beer

It’s not just wine that Richmond is crazy about, but there are also a couple of great breweries to discover. Do a craft beer tasting at the Sprig & Fern Tavern or combine your beer with a wood-fired pizza at Eddyline. Find more inspiration in our 8 Craft Breweries in Nelson You Have to Try.

Location: All over Richmond.

Sprig and Fern - Nelson Tasman© Sprig and Fern - Nelson Tasman

4. Check Out the Local Art Galleries

Richmond’s creativity is not only found in the flavours but in the local art galleries. See glassblowing in action at the Hoglund Glassblowing Studio or see unique ceramics and pottery at the Alchemy Art Centre. Check out the 11 Nelson Art Galleries That Will Inspire You for more galleries to visit.

Location: All over Richmond.

Pexels © Pexels

5. Go Hiking in the Mt Richmond Forest Park

Richmond is one of the best bases for accessing the stunning wilderness area of the Mt Richmond Forest Park. Enjoy full-day or multi-day hiking on the Alpine Route, offering outstanding views of the Waimea Plains and the Kaikoura Ranges. The complete route usually takes four days to complete.

Location: Hacket Road end, 16km from Richmond

Schwede66 on Wikipedia© Schwede66 on Wikipedia

6. Cycle the Great Taste Trail

Richmond is one of the highlights of the New Zealand Great Rides, the Tasman Great Taste Trail. The 174km easy scenic cycle journey takes approximately four days to complete, with day rides to enjoy in between. Richmond is situated on the point where the trail splits, leading either to Mapua along the coast or inland toward Brightwater and its surrounding vineyards.

Location: Richmond

Dean McKenzie - Tourism NZ© Dean McKenzie - Tourism NZ

7. Play Golf

One of the Nelson Tasman region’s most picturesque golf courses is situated right here in Richmond. So if you want to try New Zealand’s most popular sport for yourself, Richmond is a good place to do it. The Greenacres Golf Course is located on its very own island with views of the ocean and out to the Kaikoura Ranges. The golf course is well-equipped for visitors, with club and cart hire available.

Location: 4 Barnett Avenue

Pexels © Pexels

8. Visit Wakefield

Just inland from Richmond is a historical little town well worth checking out while you’re in the area. Wakefield is one of the oldest European settlements on the South Island, holding New Zealand’s oldest church and longest-running school. Learn about the history at the Higgins Heritage Park where you can see steam engines in action and do unique activities like make your own knife using blacksmith tools! Learn more in our 5 Fun Things to Do in Wakefield & Tapawera.

Location: State Highway 6, 14km south of Richmond

dws~11 on Wikipedia © dws~11 on Wikipedia

9. Cycle to Rabbit Island

A great side trip to the Great Taste Trail, or if you’re looking for a cruisy day out, set your sights on Rabbit Island. Attached to the mainland by road, Rabbit Island is easy to cycle or drive to from Richmond. The island features picturesque beaches and flowing mountain bike trails through the forests, suitable for families.

Location: Redwood Road

George Guille Media - Nelson Tasman© George Guille Media - Nelson Tasman

10. Check Out Richmond Market Day

If you’re lucky enough to be in the Nelson Tasman region at the end of December, don’t miss Richmond Market Day. The annual event boasts being the largest market at the top of the South Island with hundreds of stalls, street eats and entertainment!

Location: Sundial Square

Nelson Tasman© Nelson Tasman

More Things to Do Near Richmond

That’s it for the best things to do in Richmond. Find more activities for your travels in the 51 Best Things to Do in the South Island.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in New Zealand over 10 years ago and with a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to travel New Zealand. She knows Aotearoa inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience New Zealand’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides and is the co-host of NZ Pocket Guide’s live New Zealand travel Q&As on YouTube.

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