Nelson / Whakatū
Nelson is part of the Nelson Tasman region, situated at the top end of the South Island, and is the region's largest centre, neighbouring the satellite suburb of Stoke and town of Richmond.
Nelson is the sunshine capital of New Zealand, with warm, sunny weather year round. Visitors are attracted to the region's comfortable climate as well as our stunning rivers, mountains, beaches and forest, our wine and food, and our many cultural attractions.
Well known for its relaxed lifestyle, Nelson Tasman boasts hundreds of kilometres of beautiful coastline and three world-renowned national parks: Abel Tasman, Nelson Lakes and Kahurangi. Farewell Spit, at the tip of the South Island, is New Zealand's longest sand spit and is an internationally-renowned bird sanctuary.
Due to its geography, the region is popular for pursuing skiing, swimming and boating as well as adventure activities such as caving, kayaking and hiking (or 'tramping'). Nelson Tasman is truly a natural playground for those who wish to get off the beaten track.
The region also has a vibrant arts and cultural scene with a number of festivals held throughout the year. The Nelson Arts Festival is the premier event of the year with 12 days of art, dance, theatre, music, and literary shows from all over the world. It was also the location of the first ever Rugby match played in New Zealand in 1870.
Nelson is named after English Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson who won a famous victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Tasman is named after the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman who, in 1642, became the first European to sail into Golden Bay.
The original Māori name for Nelson is Whakatu, which means 'to set up'. The top of the South Island is named Te Tau Ihu o te Waka a Maui, often shortened to Te Tau Ihu (the prow) of the canoe of Maui, the legendary adventurer and explorer.
Nelson Tasman has a broad economy based on the export of goods from the horticultural, forestry, wine, seafood and agricultural sectors. Tourism is the region's main service industry and also a major contributor to the region's economy.
The region is one of the least populated in New Zealand with a total population of over 90,000; the city of Nelson holds the largest concentration of inhabitants with 45,000, while a further 46,500 live in the wider Tasman district.
Nelson Tasman has an enviable climate protected from cold southerly weather, and a landscape that ranges from sandy beaches to rugged mountains. Nelson boasts around 2,400 hours of sunshine per year and just 940mm of annual rainfall.
- New Plymouth
- Palmerston North
- Team Bases