Top five day trips from Nelson with the award-winning luxury South Island motel Century Park Motor Lodge.

There are numerous wonderful day trips you can do from Nelson. With its central location, you can easily make your way to many popular destinations. The award-winning Nelson accommodation provider Century Park Motor Lodge has compiled a list of some fun day trips that cater to a wide range of tastes and interests.

Mapua and Ruby Coast

Apart from beautiful beaches, Mapua and Ruby Coast also visited for its breweries, restaurants, and boutique shops. You can enjoy fishing and swimming at Mapua Wharf. The Ruby Coast Road is a scenic route between Nelson and Motueka with lovely beaches, picnic spots, cafes, galleries, and sculptures. “This picturesque town is located just 30 minutes away from Nelson,” advises Century Park Motor Lodge owner-operator Stacie Warren.

St Arnaud & Nelson Lakes National Park

If you want to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors, Nelson Lakes is where you want to go. Nelson Lakes National Park has spectacular views of the rugged alpine landscape of glaciated valleys and craggy mountain ranges. This is some of the South Island’s most magnificent terrain. There are many boating, water-skiing, fishing, swimming and kayaking activities to do if you want to get out on the water.


Murchison is the place to visit if you are looking for thrills. The Murchison four rivers plain have some of the best all-grades white water kayaking and rafting in New Zealand and has been named one of the Top 10 white water destinations globally. “Murchison is also a world-famous fly-fishing destination,” advises Stacie. It is also very close to the magnificent lakes of Nelson Lakes National Park.


If you’re looking for a relaxing day trip, head inland to the Moutere, where you’ll find award-winning wineries and artisans. Tasty handmade cheeses, traditional cider made from real cider apples and crisp and flavoursome wines are all made locally. Spend time visiting galleries and workshops of the many sculptors, ceramic artists, woodworkers and artisan food producers who call Moutere home.

Cable Bay

Only a 20-minute drive from Nelson City, you will find the hidden gem of Cable Bay. The bay’s crystal-clear water is gorgeous and is great for swimming, fishing, and kayaking. Cable Bay is a popular snorkelling and diving destination. “Cable Bay is also home to the region’s largest adventure park where you can ride the world’s longest skywire,” adds Stacie.

Book Direct at Century Park Motor Lodge

197 Rutherford Street, Nelson 7010, New Zealand

64 3 546 6197

0800 867 668 (NZ Free Ph)

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Phone: 0274 587 724