Welcome to "Sunny" Nelson, New Zealand
For those who are not from around here - Nelson is beautiful small city with around 45,000 citizens. It's located on top tof the South Island and a great place to live.
The nickname "Sunny Nelson" is earned because we're one of the the sunniest places in New Zealand with around 2,500h of sunshine per year. For comparison: London: 1,500h, Melbourne: 2,100h and Europe's sunniest place Faro/Portugal:3,170h.
The sun is not the only reason though that makes Nelson so popular. It is surrounded by 3 beautiful national parks: the Abel Tasman National Park, Nelson Lakes National Park and Kahurangi National Park. Each one of them has it's own beauty and can be explored on great hiking tracks or by boat (Abel Tasman). Don't miss out on the Marlborough Sounds which are only a stone throw away.
Summer in the city
Nelson is a vibrant place especially in summer. Tourists from all over the world buzz into town, enjoying the beaches and filling up the cafes, bars and pubs. There are plenty of things to do in and around town and you surely find something you'll enjoy. Spend some time on a yacht and sail to the Abel Tasman, grab your fishing gear and catch some snapper, relax at the beach or do some fly fishing in pristine rivers. Afterwards you're maybe up for a wine tasting tour at the vineyards or if you prefer beer, check out the local breweries. If you need a break from all the outdoor activities you can also pay the local Art Galleries a visit because that's another thing Nelson is renown for - it's arty and crafty community.
Throughout the year Nelson is venue for many events like the Nelson Art Festival (October), the Nelson Jazz Festival (around new year) and Opera in the Park (January/February) and in September 2011 we host 4 games of the Rugby World Cup to name a few.
The winter in Nelson is a bit slower but still sunny without snow and it's a nice time of year to travel. Snow capped mountains invite those who like alpine hiking and skiing to the Nelson Lakes National Park (Rainbow skifield).
Some interesting facts about Nelson
- Ernest Rutherford grew up in Brightwater and went to college in Nelson and if the name doesn't sound familiar - he's the first person to split an atom. (a thought...they should have named the Split Apple Rock in the Abel Tasman "Split Atom Rock"...)
- The Goldsmith who created THE one ring to rule them all (Lord of the Rings) is Jens Hansen from Nelson. You can purchase the original design rings in town.
- In May 1870 Nelson was venue of New Zealand's first recognised Rugby game.
- The Centre of New Zealand is in Nelson.Well to be precise the true geographical centre is about 35km south west but we have nice hill with a walkway and a marker that says otherwise ;-)