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Nature Experiences in Nelson

Brook Waimarama Sanctuary

This sanctuary is restoring nature to the Nelson region. The entrance building opened in 2007 and work is underway on tracks, trapping, and fundraising to fence the area against predators so native birds can thrive. 4km from the city centre, turn up Tasman Street, then Brook Street.

Isel House & Gardens

Main Road, Stoke. This stately home and gardens is owned by the Council who manage the extensive park grounds. The house has been managed by the Isel House Charitable Trust since 2001. After some initial structural work the two big rooms on the ground floor at the front of the house have been restored to some of their former splendour. The house is seen as a community exhibition space and also information about Isel and the Marsden family in the library. Isel Park is owned by the Council who manage the extensive park grounds.

Isel House

Isel House is open for public viewing 11am to 4pm Tuesday through Sunday from the beginning of October to the end of May. Visits are by appointment between June and September, please ring (03) 547 5222. Entry is by donation.

Miyazu Gardens

As you drive into Nelson on the Atawhai side, there's a little slice of Japan offering a quiet place for a stroll or a spot of contemplation. The Miyazu Garden celebrates Nelson's relationship with its Japanese sister city. As soon as you walk through the gate made from old timber recycled from the port, the street noise is screened out with an immediate feeling of enclosure. Still reflective ponds, trickling bamboo spouts and melodic cascades enhance the sense of serenity. Nelson City Council has aimed to develop a garden of peace and tranquillity which will be enhanced as the garden matures.

Queens Gardens

Entry to the Queens Gardens is off Bridge or Hardy Streets, Nelson. Queens Gardens is a beautiful example of a classical Victorian ornamental park. Centrally located information panels placed around the garden reveal its history. The gardens are part of a designated Historic Places Trust precinct. A great place to take the family - have your lunch beside the pond and your children will love being able to feed the ducks.

The Boulder Bank

Boulder Bank is a 14.5km long natural breakwater of large granodiorite boulders with an historic lighthouse built in 1861. Accessible from Boulder Bank Drive, off SH6, or by boat from the waterfront.

Maitai Valley

Maitai Valley is where Nelsonians go to cool off in swimming holes and to picnic in parks or you can play golf, explore the walks and visit the Maitai Dam.

Gardens of the World

85 Clover Road East, Hope. (03) 542 3736 or 027 6011 533 Walk the gardens of the world ... Sample the scents and texture. This tranquil relaxed environment forms a tapestry of natural beauty right here in Hope, New Zealand Open 10am to dusk. Entry fee applies, children free.

Washborn Gardens - Richmond

Located just off Oxford Street in Richmond. If a peaceful picnic lunch is what you're after, it's just the spot for family fun and there's also plenty to investigate.

Garden Features

The Fuchsia House was proposed by the Waimea South Garden Club and funding came from most other garden clubs in the district and the Fuchsia Society. It was built by the Richmond Borough Council in 1987. The fuchsias thrive in this environment and put on a spectacular show of colour.

The Old Richmond Gaol

This Gaol is a point of historical interest. It was relocated to it's current site in the gardens in 1992 and restored thanks to the joint efforts of Richmond Rotary and Tasman District Council.

The Fernery was completed in 1996 and was a project of Friends of Washbourn Gardens.

The Begonia House

The Begonia House is an amazing sight during the summer months with over 200 potted begonias and hanging baskets blazing a mass of vibrant colours. The begonias in the house are looked after by the Ian Thorn Memorial Begonia Trust. In winter the display is created by beautiful orchids.

The Currie Gazebo

This Gazebo was completed in 2000 after a huge fundraising effort, again by the Friends of Washbourn Gardens and a generous contribution from Tasman District Council. It's a popular spot for wedding photographs, especially over summer.

Nelson Lakes National Park is found at the northern end of the Southern Alps, and offers many of the attractions and activities expected of an Alpine Environment.

Featuring two lakes, Lake Rotoiti and Lake Rotoroa, Nelson Lakes National Park is an accessible outdoor adventure playground. For water sports, Lake Rotoiti has a water ski lane and a swimming raft as well as several boat jetties. Lake Rotoroa has been designated a wilderness lake, providing a wonderfully peaceful experience for those wanting to get away from it all.

Among the many adrenaline based and low-key activities available in the Nelson Lakes National Park and it's environs are historical and eco-tours, gold panning, A historic Tophouse serving Devonshire teas, a unique mountain golf course, guided treks and lake cruises. Summer days are great for boating, windsurfing, waterskiing, yachting, canoeing and swimming at the beautiful lakes.

For the angler, the rivers provide some of the best trout fishing in New Zealand. The wide variation of terrain makes the area attractive for hikers and there is an extensive network of tracks and huts. The surging rivers provide plenty of rushing adrenaline for kayakers and rafters.

The "Revive Rotoiti Mainland Island" project ensures than visitors and locals alike can enjoy seeing a part of New Zealand which is heavily protected from pests and modification. This unique and exciting project has resulted in many species of native birds being present in larger that expected numbers. Lucky walkers may glimpse the threatened kaka and kakariki, while tuis, bellbirds and other species are found in abundance.

Century Park Motor Lodge

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