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Nelson Anniversary Day

Upcoming Dates of Nelson Anniversary Day

2023: Monday 30th January

2024: Monday 29th January

2025: Monday 3rd February  

The Province of Nelson

The Nelson Province, which incorporates the Tasman region, is at the top west corner of the South Island. From Nelson in the North down to Westport on the West Coast.

The area is renowned in New Zealand as one of the sunniest and most beautiful places to be.

The main centre of the Nelson Tasman region is the city of Nelson.

The city is named after Admiral Horatio Nelson, who defeated the French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The city is the second oldest settled city in New Zealand.

Art galleries and locals selling their crafts create a thriving arts and culture scene here. Gorgeous national parks, local vineyards, and caving sites are easily accessible from Nelson.

Surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, beaches, lakes, and mountains, it makes this a stunning tourist destination.

The Anniversary Date

The Nelson Anniversary Day is the closest Monday to 1st February each year.

This commemorates the founding of Nelson by settlers from the New Zealand Company ship Fifeshire on February 1, 1842.

The Fifeshire had travelled from London, taking four and a half months before reaching Nelson.

After leaving the settlers in Nelson, it later hit a reef on its way to China and sunk. This journey, therefore, was its first, as well as its last.

Being in summer, this long weekend is a good excuse for people to visit the beaches or attend the festive events taking place in the towns.

There is never a shortage of things to do here or places to see—especially the case for outdoor enthusiasts.

Nelson Tasman National Parks

The Tasman Region is a larger area than the Nelson region and they are usually incorporated together, hence the name Nelson Tasman.

Fortunate to have three National Parks within its boundaries, it is no wonder this enviable region attracts so many visitors.

Visitors are drawn to the well-known Abel Tasman National Park by its clean, protected coastline, turquoise oceans, Tonga Island Marine Reserve, and the Abel Tasman Coast Track, one of New Zealand’s “9 Great Walks.”

South in the Nelson Tasman region is the small town of Murchison. This is the location of the region’s white water rafting and jet boating.

This is in Nelson Lakes National Park and offers alpine scenery with stunning mountains and lakeside walks.

Nelson Lakes National Park is the home to the world’s clearest lake – Lake Rotomairewhenua, also known as Blue Lake. This remarkable place is nestled remotely in the park and is not easily accessible.

To the west of the region is the expansive Kahurangi National Park. With its diversified scenery, this massive wilderness park offers hiking, mountain biking, camping, canyoning, fishing, hunting, spotting wildlife, and more.

The Heaphy Track, another of New Zealand’s “Great Walks,” is found here, in this unspoilt setting – we recommend a visit to Anchorage Bay if time permits.