Nelson Bays is a region at the top of the South Island of New Zealand. The region is famed for sunshine, art and craft and alternative lifestyles but the region has a rugged farming backbone. The region is bounded by the Richmond Ranges, Kahurangi National Park and the Nelson Lakes National Park. The Abel Tasman National Park is on the northern coast between Motueka and Golden Bay.
- Golden Bay over the Takaka Hill and a world away. Beautiful golden sand beaches, native bush and solice.
- Nelson - with its cathedral is the region's only city
- Marahau - Gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park
- Richmond - A satellite town in modern times merging with Nelson. Administrative centre of the Tasman District.
- Takaka - The largest town in Golden Bay
From the east, State Highway 6 is the main route leading from Blenheim (and Picton) through Renwick, Havelock and the Rai Valley before reaching Nelson. State Highway 6 continues south through Richmond, Wakefield, Murchison and on to Westport and the West Coast. State Highway 63 starts at Renwick and leads to St Arnaud before rejoining State Highway 6 at Kawatiri Junction.
Buses and Shuttles in and out of the region in the main follow State Highway 6. Southern Link K Bus travel Christchurch - Murchison - St Arnaud - Wakefield - Richmond - Nelson. Nelson Lakes Shuttles specialise in providing transport for trampers, hikers, climbers, mountain bikers and skiers. They run on demand and scheduled services to St Arnaud and between Picton, Blenheim, Murchison as well as other tramping destinations further afield.
- Nelson AirportKaramea, the end of the Heaphy Track.
- Abel Tasman Air flies from Motueka Airport and offers charter flights around the region.
- The Takaka airstrip has scheduled flights from Wellington on Capital Air as well as charter airlines.
For those without transport, there is reasonable bus transport around the region.
- Between Stoke and Richmond suburban buses are available as well as a double decker bus on Wednesdays, Fridays and School and Public holidays.
- From Nelson to St Arnaud the options are Southern Link K bus or Nelson Lakes Shuttles.
- From Nelson to Kaiteriteri and Marahau (the eastern end of the Marahau on demand.
- From Nelson to Heaphy Track in Kahurangi National Park options are Abel Tasman Travel, K Bus to Takaka with destinations further north on demand or Golden Bay Coachlines to Takaka.
On Demand Services
- Trek Express, ☎ 03 540 2042 or 0800 128 735 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: 03 540 2289), . Specalising in transport to hiking tracks. edit
- Nelson Lakes Shuttles, ☎ 03 521 1900 or 021 490 095 (email@example.com), . edit
- Tasman Helicopters, ☎ 03 528 8075 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: 03 528 8078), . edit
- Flight Corporation Ltd, ☎ 0800 359 464 or 03 547 8175, . edit
- Abel Tasman Air, ☎ 03 528 8290 or 0800 304560, . edit
Sunburn and sun stroke might be the greatest dangers in the region.
For those heading south to Springs Junction. Turning east leads soon to the hot springs complex of Maruia Springs before steadily climbing up the Lewis Pass on the Main Divide of the Hamner Springs is reached, 1 1/2 hours from Christchurch. The alternative it to travel to Blenheim and then south on State Highway 1 through the whale watching town of Kaikoura. Both routes take approximately 6 hours.