8 Luxury Activities in Nelson© www.nelsontasman.nz
8 Luxury Activities in Nelson

8 Luxury Activities in Nelson

© www.nelsontasman.nz
Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
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Premium Tours in Nelson

Set at the top of the South Island, Nelson boasts being New Zealand’s sunniest city but its more than that. It’s surrounded by awe-inspiring mountains to golden-sand beaches across its three national parks, while vineyards, art galleries, luxurious spas and more lie between. Experience Nelson and the Abel Tasman, Kahurangi and Nelson Lakes National Parks either by land, sea or air on one of the premium tours in Nelson. Take your pick of prime experiences in this list of luxury activities in Nelson.

For more luxury activities in Nelson, as well as travel advice, see The Luxury Guide to Nelson.

1. Explore Nelson Tasman by Helicopter

Wherever you need or want to go, even if it’s in the most hard-to-reach place, Helicopters Nelson New Zealand will likely be able to get you there with their wealth of scenic slights and heli-adventures in the Nelson Tasman region. For instance, their Abel Tasman Experience takes you on a private 50-minute flight over the golden sands, bays and turquoise waters of the national park. The Ultimate Lord of the Rings Combo Tour is a journey with heli-landings in the Nelson Tasman Middle-earth locations. One of their heli-adventures is a flight to the Heaphy Track Great Walk with a mountain landing and picnic lunch complete with wine and beer included. All in all, there are breathtaking vistas to be seen and Helicopters Nelson will make sure you see it. Find out more about their tours on Viator and Tripadvisor.

Location: Nelson Airport, Dakota Street, approximately 7km (4 miles) from Nelson city centre.

8 Luxury Activities in Nelson© Reid Helicopters - www.nelsontasman.nz

2. Take a Scenic Flight and Cruise in Abel Tasman and Golden Bay

Golden Bay offers some of the most remote yet breathtaking coastal attractions in the South Island but many of us just don’t have the time to go that far off the beaten track. Golden Bay Air, however, can make your visit a breeze with their Golden Bay and Abel Tasman Flight and Cruise Package. This full-day experience has you soaring over the Abel Tasman’s beaches and bays on your way to Golden Bay where you’ll see the Whirinaki Sea Arches and Farewell Spit from above. You’ll land in the bohemian town of Takaka for lunch and a short walk to the iconic Te Waikoropupu Springs. Cool off at Totaranui Beach before enjoying a scenic cruise from Golden Bay back along the Abel Tasman National Park. Find out more about Golden Bay Air on Viator and Tripadvisor. If you do have more time to visit the region, be sure to check out The Luxury Guide to Takaka.

Location: Nelson Airport, Dakota Street, approximately 7km (4 miles) from Nelson city centre.

8 Luxury Activities in Nelson© www.nelsontasman.nz

3. Do a Private Day Tour or Liveaboard Holiday with Abel Tasman Sailing Adventures

Back down on earth, experience Abel Tasman on a catamaran sailing yacht with Abel Tasman Sailing Adventures. From small-group cruises into the national park to the same offerings but on private charters, there’s a tour to experience a range of tastes and budgets. To make it extra special, join the crew for a three-day Abel Tasman liveaboard holiday with a yacht exclusively for you and your loved ones and friends. The yacht accommodates up to eight guests across four private queen cabins and includes the use of snorkelling gear, SUP boards, kayak, as well as visits to remote bays, waterfalls and sections of the Abel Tasman Great Walk. Learn more about Abel Tasman Sailing Adventures on Viator and Tripadvisor.

Location: 1 Inlet Road, Kaiteriteri, approximately 60km (37 miles) from Nelson city centre.

8 Luxury Activities in Nelson© Abel Tasman Sailing Adventures - www.nelsontasman.nz

4. Hire a Private Charter with Abel Tasman Charters

Another luxury cruising option for the Abel Tasman National Park is with Abel Tasman Charters. Make the most of your day on their private charter exploring the vibrant blue waters, golden-sand beaches, wildlife and subtropical forests. The crew will cater to your interests, whether you want a day swimming, hiking and kayaking or you simply want to relax and enjoy the scenery with a  glass of wine in hand. If you’re looking for a more affordable experience, consider joining one of their small-group Abel Tasman Day Trips. Find out more on Viator and Tripadvisor. For more activities in the national park, see the 10 Amazing Things to Do in the Abel Tasman National Park.

Location: Stephens Bay Road, Kaiteriteri, approximately 59km (37 miles) from Nelson city centre.

8 Luxury Activities in Nelson© www.nelsontasman.nz

5. Do a Wine, Beer or Art Trail Tour

Discover Nelson’s art and wine scene by hopping from winery to winery, art gallery to art gallery, and/or brewery to brewery with one of the small-group tours. Wine, Art & Wilderness (on Viator and Tripadvisor) and Day Out both offer private tours of Nelson’s art and food scene, while Wine, Art and Wilderness and Bay Tours also provide small-group options to ensure affordable luxury. You’ll get to visit a selection of attractions we highlight in the 24 Nelson Wineries on the Nelson Wine Trail, 8 Craft Breweries in Nelson You Have to Try and 11 Nelson Art Galleries That Will Inspire You. Take your pick to bring them along on a bespoke tour or leave it to the experts to curate an itinerary for you.

Location: Tours include accommodation pick-ups in Tasman Bay and Nelson.

8 Luxury Activities in Nelson© www.nelsontasman.nz

6. Do a Small-group or Private Tour of Abel Tasman or Golden Bay

Wine, Art & Wilderness also hosts a variety of small-group sightseeing tours around Abel Tasman and Golden Bay, ensuring you get to see the highlights on your bucket list. Their Golden Bay in a Day tour is a fantastic way to see this remote part of the South Island, including a scenic drive over the Marble Mountain (Takaka Hill), a visit to the crystal clear Te Waikoropupu Spring and the town of Takaka, as well as Tata Beach and the Grover Reserve with amazing limestone formations. Alternatively, their Abel Tasman Hike and Cruise tour allows you to get more out of the national park with a nature guide showing you the flora and fauna seen along the way. Find out more about Wine, Art & Wilderness on Viator or Tripadvisor.

Location: Accommodation pick-ups included.

8 Luxury Activities in Nelson© NZPocketGuide.com

7. Indulge in a Spa Day

Perhaps the weather isn’t playing ball or you just need a timeout. The day spas in Nelson will help transport you to a state of utter bliss. In Nelson city, indulge in one of the massages, facials or beauty treatments with the Erban Spa Nelson, who also offer spa and dine packages with the city’s fine dining and high tea establishments (spoiler alert: they feature in point #8). Woman Day Spa is another popular choice with treatments for both women and men, while Kimi Ora Eco Retreat in Kaiteriteri is well worth seeking out before or after your adventures in the Abel Tasman National Park.

Location: Erban Spa Nelson – 14 Nile Street. Woman Day Spa – 26 New Street. Kimi Ora Eco Retreat – 99 Martin Farm Road, Kaiteriteri, approximately 61km (38 miles) from Nelson city centre.

8 Luxury Activities in Nelson© Pixabay

8. Experience Fine Dining in Nelson City and the Surrounding Vineyards

As an established wine region among other talents, it’s no surprise that Nelson is home to a few amazing fine dining establishments. In the city, book a table at Hopgood’s & Co. offering four- and five-course degustation menus with wine pairing and bistro-style cuisine. Speaking of bistros, another worth seeking out is Harbour Light Bistro boasting spectacular views of the waterfront focussing on fresh local ingredients. When exploring the Tasman region, don’t miss Forsters at the Moutere Hills Vineyard with indulgent platters, local lamb dishes, fish of the day and more to choose from along with stunning vineyard views. For more recommendations, see The Foodie Guide to Nelson.

Location: Hopgood’s & Co. – 284 Trafalgar Street. Harbour Light Bistro – 341 Wakefield Quay. Moutere Hills Vineyard – 42 Eggers Road, Mapua.

8 Luxury Activities in Nelson© www.nelsontasman.nz

More Luxury Activities in Nelson

That’s it for the best luxury activities in Nelson. Find even more tips to make your luxury getaway exceptional in The Luxury Travel Guide to New Zealand.


The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Laura S.

This article has been reviewed and published by Laura, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Laura is a first-class honours journalism graduate and a travel journalist with expertise in New Zealand and South Pacific tourism for over 10 years. She also runs travel guides for five of the top destinations in the South Pacific and is the co-host of over 250 episodes of the NZ Travel Show on YouTube.

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