Moving to Nelson? 15 Reasons Why You Should

Brent Palmer
Published on December 9, 2016

Moving to Nelson? 15 Reasons Why You Should

If you or someone you know are considering moving to the Nelson region anytime soon, make sure you read this article first! You want to know what you’re getting yourself into, right? Is moving to Nelson really for you? I’ll do my best to temper my strong Nelson bias and just stick to the facts.

We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful region, with so much to do and so many great people. If you still need some convincing, you’re in the right place. I did my best to narrow it down to the top 15 reasons why you’ll love moving to Nelson. I grew up here, have lived elsewhere but returned to my favourite spot in the world. Living in the Nelson region just keeps getting better and better.

Some not-so-boring facts about the Nelson Region

  • Home to 3 National Parks with over 5,760 km2 to explore
  • Around 2,500 hours of sunshine per year (compared to 1500 in London!)
  • Nicknames – “Sunny Nelson” or “Top of theSouth”
  • Nelson is the geographical centre of New Zealand
  • Population of Nelson City Council 46,437 (2013 census)
  • Population of Tasman District Council 47,154 (2013 census)

1. Lazy Sundays – You can truly tell its Sunday in Nelson. It doesn’t have the same hustle and bustle as other days – the pace slows, and instead of hitting the shops Nelsonians are more likely to be found hitting the beaches or cycling tracks instead. But beware, the café’s slow too, so just check the opening hours before heading out to brunch.

2. Great Schools – Not all schools are zoned in the Nelson region, so one has a choice as to what school your children attend. So, when making this decision I asked around for advice and you know what answer I got time and time again (teachers included) – there actually isn’t a bad school in Nelson, so you can’t go wrong. It’s just what school suits your child the best – and that’s pretty amazing. Teachers, of course, want to live in Nelson too – so we are lucky that when schools advertise there is usually a staggering pool of applicants to choose from.

3. Rabbit Island – The locals gem. Whenever someone in Nelson wants to throw a get together whether it be a kids birthday party, work function or casual BBQ with friends – Nelsonians turn to Rabbit Island. A vast picnic spot next to a swim friendly beach with plenty of shade, that’s free. Now with cycle options to and throughout, it’s become a hive of activity, yet it very rarely feels crowded.

4. Commute – What commute? Many complain about rush hour traffic, but in Nelson, it’s minor compared with most major cities in NZ. In the mornings, it only occurs during the school term, and for approximately ½ an hour. If you can avoid that peak time, you’ll be fine. In the evenings, it’s just that 5pm rush, but if you finish after 5.30pm then you’ll be fine too!

5. Coffee – New Zealand has become renowned for its coffee with over 300 roasters throughout the country, but Nelson especially has thrived in this scene. Now with dozens of café’s roasting their own blends on site, you can be pretty confident in finding an expertly made coffee within a short distance from just about anywhere in the region.

6. Kaiteriteri – The region’s seaside resort only 60 minutes from central Nelson City. The gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park, this treasure is full of ways to enjoy the region’s spectacular scenery. And as a local, you get to enjoy it in the offseason, when this incredibly desirable beach is practically empty. You can enjoy this idyllic destination (in the world’s top 100 beaches) that many pay thousands to get to whenever you like. Now with its own mountain bike park, and cycle trail to get there, Kaiteriteri a tremendous day out.


7. Proximity – Other than being literally the centre of New Zealand, some say it’s the Ultimate Kiwi Location. Nelson has amazing proximity to such an array of outdoor activities with 3 national parks on its doorstep. But it’s also only a 25-minute flight to Wellington, less than 5 hours drive to Christchurch, and on the highway to the West Coast. It’s big enough to have all the major retailers one needs, yet small enough to still feel Kiwi.

8.  Craft Beer – Nelson is known as the craft beer capital of New Zealand. It’s easy to find a handy local serving up a unique brew and Nelson even has its own craft beer trail. It’s where the majority of the countries hops are grown and is home to more craft breweries per head of population than anywhere in New Zealand.

9. The Arts – Nelson oozes creativity, and is bursting with boutique art galleries, jewellers, designers, potters and more. Not only does Nelson have a fabulous Arts festival once a year, but venues like the Theatre Royal, School of Music, The Suter and Old St Johns provide a variety of acts year-round. That’s not to mention the restaurants and bars with regular music gigs. Nelson punches above its weight in this form of entertainment.

10. Produce Galore – With such an ideal climate, and an appreciation for lifestyle, you’ll find fruit and veg stalls in abundance here. So it’s super easy to get fresh produce at a great price daily.

11. New Zealand’s 4th Busiest Airport – Nelson may not have the cheapest flights, but with competition heating up this has certainly improved. What we do have is a great frequency of flights so you can always find something at the right time of day. It also means several people commute regularly by plane to larger centres as you can easily get there and back in a day.

12. Weather – Everyone knows Nelson for its sunshine hours, but it also has an enviable Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and warm summers. Nelson’s rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year and has fewer frosts due to the highly marine geography of the region. There is nothing quite like a long summer evening or crisp clear winter morning in Nelson. You really can make the most of all the hours in the day!
13. Food Glorious Food – The home of fabulous produce and the freshest of seafood, Nelson chefs are spoilt for choice, and this reflects in our restaurant scene. Nelson is packed to the brim with eateries and for the size of the city, we have an enviable variety and remarkable quality.

14. Wine – Nelson’s gentle sunny climate, and idyllic landscape has produced a small yet thriving high-quality wine industry. Renowned for its horticulture, Nelson’s impressive wine production fits beautifully with its vibrant and artistic café culture. It’s easy to see how successful it is, as local vineyards feature in the majority of the region’s wine lists.nelson-4

15. Markets – Nelson has many fabulous events, but one thing it really does well are Markets. Not only does it have regular Saturday Markets, Sunday Markets, Twilight Markets and Food Markets scattered around the region, there are special annual markets too. These bring out a remarkable amount of talented people whose wares and produce continue to indulge our senses year after year.

Final Thoughts on Moving to Nelson

If you’re moving to Nelson or are considering it, as you can now see, the Nelson region is truly a fantastic place to live, work, and play. You’ll never run out of things to do and there will always be more friendly people to meet.  If you’re seriously thinking about moving to Nelson, or just have a few more questions before deciding, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions about the Nelson area. I can provide you with whatever information you’re looking for, or at the very least, point you in the direction of where to find it.

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About the Author: The above article on Moving to Nelson? 15 Reasons Why You Should was written and provided by Brent Palmer, a local leader in the field of Richmond and Nelson Real Estate sales, marketing, advanced technology for home selling, and social media.

You can contact Brent Palmer here, or at 027 544 9921. He has helped many people buy and sell homes in the Nelson, Stoke and Richmond areas for years, and would love the opportunity to help you as well.

Thinking of selling your home? I have a real passion for helping people sell their homes in our Nelson and Tasman Region, as well as the marketing, social media & advanced technology for home selling that goes along with it. I’d love to have the opportunity to sit down with you discuss how we can work together to get you the best price.

I help people buy and sell real estate in the following Nelson and Tasman  towns  & neighbourhoods: Wakefield, Brightwater, Hope, Appleby, Redwood Valley, Mapua, Stoke, Tahunanui, Atawhai and of course, Richmond and Nelson City.

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