Nelson Hikes : The Best Tasman Bay Missions

3 of the finest multi-day treks in the whole of New Zealand, all within easy reach of Nelson.

Charlie Boscoe


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Nestled at the northern end of New Zealand's South Island, Nelson is home to just over 50,000 people, and some of the finest scenery on the planet. Whether you want to go sea kayaking, hiking, biking or - if you don't mind a bit of a drive - skiing, Nelson has you covered. It's one of the sunniest places in New Zealand and enjoys a temperate climate, with warm summers and (relative to other parts of New Zealand) mild winters too.

Being the only major town for miles around, Nelson is also surrounded by a huge amount of pristine wilderness, and some of New Zealand's best multi-day hikes. The most famous of all is the trip through the Abel Tasman National Park - an otherworldly journey which is - rightly - on the "bucket list" of virtually every serious hiker. Suffice to say that golden beaches, turquoise water, dolphins and rainforests make it well worth the hype. The problem with the Abel Tasman is that everyone knows about it - an issue which does not apply to the other 2 hikes listed in this guidebook; the Queen Charlotte Track and the Pelorus Track. Locals and hiking connoisseurs will be well aware of them, but they're not World famous like the Abel Tasman, and all the better for it.

The best way to work through these trips is to be based in Nelson and return there after each hike for a few home comforts before heading off again. All 3 of the hikes involve some logistical planning but that just makes it all the more satisfying when you finish them!


Abel Tasman Coastal Track

If sandy beaches, beautiful forests and a warm climate sound like your thing, this 60 kilometre adventure is the hike for you.

Queen Charlotte Track

Ridge and coastline walking among lush forests in South Island's Marlborough Sounds.