Nelson is internationally renowned for its unsurpassed natural beauty‚ its pleasant Mediterranean-style climate – sheltered from cold southerly weather, varied recreational activities and diverse cultural opportunities. Taken together‚ these provide a quality of life in Nelson unexcelled by any area of its size in the world.
It is less expensive to live in Nelson than in most metropolitan areas in New Zealand, and the proportion of families who live in their own home and of adults with tertiary qualifications is higher than the national average (2006 NZ Census).
Hailed as one of New Zealand’s most ‘liveable’ cities by Lonely Planet, Nelson is a bright, optimistic, worldly town, arranged around a flat grid on Tasman Bay. Nelson’s streets are dotted with beautiful Victorian houses, with a selection of Buddhist centres, naturopaths, yoga studios and galleries. Artsy wanderers mooch between cafés and coffee-carts, ducking into the Bridge St bars or poetry readings in bookshops. Beyond the urban fringe the coast and hills offer a plethora of activities, both relaxed and adrenalin-charged.
The Nelson region, extending west into the Tasman region, is a top destination for travellers to New Zealand – and for locals too. With more sunny days than anywhere else in the country, brilliant beaches and superb national parks (Kahurangi, Nelson Lakes and Abel Tasman) there’s plenty here to keep you occupied (or to lull you into sun-soaked sedation). The region is also home to a progressive, offbeat community of artists and winemakers.
It is the people that make Nelson the appealing city it really is. Family values and a strong sense of local community underpin day-to-day life in the region. We value our history and tradition, but we also welcome newcomers and the rich diversity they bring to our lives.
I am a relative newcomer myself, having lived most of my years in the North Island. However I am also convinced that Nelson is the best city in New Zealand for the ideal quality of life.