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Free Highlights of Nelson

Published: 12/20/2011 by Olivia Moir

 Gardens of Nelson

Miyuazu Japanese Gardens

Miyazu Gardens celebrates Nelsons relationship with its Japanese sister city. The gardens represent a place of peace and tranquility, which will be enhanced as the gardens mature. Located near Founders Heritage Park on Atawhai Drive, a 5 minute walk from Nelson city centre.

Queens Gardens

Queens Gardens formally opened in 1892 to celebrate the Jubilee of Queen Victoria. It was designed around the residual part of the Maitai River called the Eel Pond – a food gathering place for the Maori.  Stroll around and enjoy the park’s sculptures, which include The Cupid Fountain, the Water Wheel, the Boer War memorial, Sentinel and fine memorial gates at both main entrances.  The entrance to the Queens Gardens can be found on both Hardy & Bridge streets.


ANZAC Park is located between Haven Road and Rutherford Street just off Halifax and recognizes Nelson's contribution to world wars with the iconic ANZAC Park Cenotaph that memorialises those who gave their life in service.

Centre of New Zealand

The Centre of New Zealand on Botanical Hill is one of Nelson’s most popular walks. The starting point is the Botanical Reserve, over a footbridge from the end of Hardy Street, or you can start at the Nelson Visitor Information Centre and follow the Maitai Walkway to the Hardy Street footbridge. Take a look at the interpretive panel at the bottom of the hill for some views of Nelson over the last century, and the history of this ‘Village Green’.

To reach the Centre of New Zealand will take 20-60 minutes, depending on your age, speed and fitness. The main track is suitable for sturdier push chairs and buggies. At the top take a seat, enjoy the stunning view and pick out the features of Nelson’s geography from the information panels.You can go downhill on one of the other tracks on the Botanical Hill, or opt to head along the hillside to Walters Bluff. A good summer option is to take your togs, walk down the eastern side of the hill to Branford Park, have a swim at Black Hole and take the Maitai Track back to your starting point.

Nelson Cathedral

Church Hill, the Christ Church Cathedral overlooks the city business district. Built mainly of Takaka marble, the cathedral is set in a garden with many outstanding trees.

The Cathedral is open to visitors, and interpretation panels tell more of the history. Look for the remnant of Fort Arthur, built after the Wairau affray in 1843. It was named after Captain Arthur Wakefield, the settlement’s leader and one of 22 settlers who lost their lives at the Wairau in retaliation for the killing of the famous M?ori chief Te Rauparaha’s daughter.

South Street

The historic precinct of South Street demonstrates Nelson's architecture from the period of the mid 1800s. South Street is a dead end road located one block off Rutherford Street on Nile Street West. Please note: Vehicle access to South Street is for residents only as the street is very narrow and turning is difficult. The South Street pottery gallery on the corner of South Street has beautifully locally crafted pottery pieces.

Photo Gallery

Nelson Cathedral

Nelson Cathedral

  • Queens Gardens Nelson
  • Miyazu Japanese Gardens Nelson
  • View from Centre of New Zealand Walk
  • South Street Nelson

Click here for Slideshow. You can also click on any of the photos to start slideshow.