Find the Best Car Rental Rates for your Trip to Nelson
Planning a trip to the sunny top of the South Island in a hire car?
Nelson is a vibrant city at the top of the South Island of New Zealand. It has some of the highest sunshine hours in the country, a lively arts scene, fabulous local produce and access to wonderful outdoor areas. You can fly directly into Nelson from most main centres in New Zealand, or it is just over an hour's drive from the ferry terminal in Picton. It's also become one of our most affordable centres to fly into, with both Air New Zealand and Jetstar servicing the town, and offering competitive pricing.
Use our simple system to get the right hire car at the best price in Nelson. Currently, our only depots are at Nelson Airport. VroomVroomVroom has teamed up with trusted car rental suppliers like Avis, Thrifty, Budget, Hertz and Europcar to give you the best car hire deals possible. Check out our Nelson Airport car rental page to find more information about picking up your car up from there.
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Winter in Nelson
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What to see and do in Nelson
Situated at the top of the South Island, Nelson is well-known for having the highest sunshine hours in the country, and all that warmth seems to have transferred to the population, creating a welcoming and creative vibe. There are over 350 working artists living in the Nelson and Tasman region, many with studios open to visitors.
You can see lots of arts and crafts in one place at the famous Nelson Saturday Market. Hoglund Art Glass is a world class glass-blowing operation, with a studio and gallery open to visitors, just 20 minutes from Nelson city. The Jens Hansen Gold and Silversmith is a special place to have your jewellery made. Since 1968, they have been making jewellery with uncompromising beauty, and in recent times have become famous as the makers of the 'One Ring' from the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. You can get your own Elvish love ring made for you or your partner.
With its wonderful climate, Nelson is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. It is handy to not one, but three national parks, The Abel Tasman, Kahurangi, and Nelson Lakes. It's also a mecca for cyclists, Nelson has the Gold Ride Centre status with the International Mountain Biking Association, one of just six such centres in the world.
Here's our top picks of things to do:
World of Wearable Arts and Classic Cars Museum
Address: Cadillac Way off Quarantine Road, Annesbrook, Nelson
The famous World of Wearable Arts event started in Nelson, and though it has now become so big it transferred to the big smoke of Wellington, the original exhibits are at the World of Wearable Arts and Classic Cars Museum. Gape at the astonishing exotic gowns that are made from the most amazing materials. Gawk at the excellent Classic Car Collection —with over 50 different vintage cars and motorbikes, all in superb conditions. There is also an art gallery that features local painters.
Abel Tasman National Park
The Abel Tasman National Park is New Zealand's smallest national park, but is perfectly formed along a string of golden sand beaches. The Abel Tasman track within the park is one of New Zealand's Great Walks, a concept of premium walking experiences with fantastic facilities. The park is popular for sea kayaking also, with guided trips of up to five days available. The Tonga Island Marine Reserve is at the top of the Abel Tasman, and is home to dolphins, seals and penguins. If you don't think you can kayak all the way there, you can always catch a water-taxi instead. The Kahurangi National Park is also handy to Nelson, home to the famous Heaphy walking track. In the winter season, the track is open to mountain bikers.
Tasman Great Taste Cycle Trail
The latest tourist initiative that has created a buzz in the city is the 'Tasman Great Taste Cycle Trail,' 175 kms of cycleway that explores the rich foodie culture of the region, from organic bakeries to boutique brewers. If you haven't got time for the whole ride, you can just take a section, such as the 38 km ride that starts at the airport, and can take you to Rabbit Island.
Abel Tasman Kayaks
The Abel Tasman Park is a sea-kayaking mecca. Get here by car rental and experience a unique way to enjoy the beach. Explore the serene and gorgeous blue beaches, coves, lagoons, offshore islands, wildlife and the native forests all in one trip. They also offer guided day tours for half day, full day, or overnight excursions.
Reid Heslop Helicopters
With the aid of a car, drive your way to Reid Heslop Helicopters and explore the best that Nelson has to offer with one of their adventure flights or helicopter charter. They can arrange activities such as trout fishing, overnight stays, hiking, wine tours, etc. They also offer wedding and engagement flights, a luxury lodge transfer, and exclusive mountain landings.
Click here for list of tracks
If your shoes where made for walking, then Nelson is known for its walkways with over 40 designated walks within a short distance from the city.
Ranked #1 of 71 hotels in Nelson, this cosy cottage like accommodation is your home away from home. It's like staying with your grandma with all the vintage wooden furniture like decor and superb customer service. You'll be fussed over like your royalty.
Almond House Backpackers
Must stay at the best Hostel in Nelson! With its great central location, provides
only a 10min walk to town, very homely feel with well equipped and clean facilities. Not to mention the great service reviews. Perfect for those on a budget looking for a quality, comfortable and hospitable place to stay.
Mint Dining Room Restaurant
This award winning fine dining restaurant offers perfection on a plate and with its entirely new fit out and refurbishment, you'll feel like your dining at home with its cosy warm wooden interiors and cottage detail exterior.
Great food in a warm romantic atmosphere.
Open: Tues-Sat Evenings from 5:30pm
Penguino Gelato Ice-cream & Cafe
Need refuge from the rigours of shopping? Then head to one of Nelson's favourite summer spots to cool down. With its huge variety of flavours to choose from and the extra options of bakery and coffee specialties, makes a perfect place to whine down for the individual or family traveler.
Find the best events in Nelson
Marchfest annually in March, Founders Park, Nelson.
The Nelson region is New Zealand's sole hop growing area, and as a result has more craft breweries per head of population than anywhere else in New Zealand. Marchfest is a one day festival to celebrate all things craft beer. There are brewing workshops, and a beer and food matching lunch. There's also great music, delicious food, and a family friendly vibe.