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Activities and Things to do in Nelson

Aside from their visit to Jens Hansen, visitors often ask our recommendations on things to do in Nelson. Here are a few of our favourite activities and things to do.

'Secret' Tips from the Jens Hansen Team

The Jens Hansen Gold and Silversmith Workshop was borne from the passion of creativity and experimentation. Nelson, with its broad range of creativity and arts was and still remains the perfect setting for the Jens Hansen Workshop.

You’ve learned about our staff; now find out what they love about Nelson and where to find the city’s best kept secrets!


Jen, part of Jens Hansen team for 1 year

  • Loves the many walking paths around town, especially Grampians and the Centre of New Zealand tracks. While the Centre of New Zealand walk might be one of the most famous, it is for good reason.
  • Japanese Gardens/Queen’s Gardens
  • Motor bike – one of the top ten tracks is from the West Coast to Nelson.

Tanya, part of Jens Hansen team for 8 months

  • Stand Up Paddle (SUP) in Tahunanui. Loves the company Moana SUP for hire and purchasing a paddle board. Jane Pascoe Dance Yoga Barre has yoga classes on the paddle boards twice a week, year round.
  • Favourite restaurant/coffee shop/lounge – Café Affair. Comfortable year round and offers it all.

Heath, part of Jens Hansen team for 13 years

  • For music lovers, Everyman Records on Hardy Street
  • Many mountain bike trails to choose from, especially Codgers Track
  • Riwaka Resurgence Walk, entrance to the Takaka Hill near Motueka

Zane, part of Jens Hansen team for 2 years

  • McCashin’s Brewery
  • Pupu Springs in Golden Bay - the biggest cold-water spring south of the equator.
  • Best Burgers – The Fat Tui
  • Organised sports – Very soccer friendly for it being such a rugby-centric country.

Kim, part of Jens Hansen team for 8 months

  • Toad Hall and Restaurant – Kid-friendly garden market and restaurant
  • Maitai Valley Caves
  • Christ Church – many don’t know it’s free to enter and open to the public with a lot of history
  • Rabbit Island – Only 15 minutes from Nelson CBD but you feel worlds away.

Amanda, part of Jens Hansen team for 3 years

  • Loves lunch and dinner and newly establish Nicola’s Cantina (closest you’ll get to Mexican food)
  • Trafalgar street is great for evening drinks
  • Wine tasting – especially in Upper Moutere and at Neudorf Winery
  • Nelson Lakes during the winter for skiing/snowboarding (closest ski fields)
  • Mapua Wharf and Smoke House’s fish ‘n’ chips

Claire, part of Jens Hansen team for 8 years

  • Cable Bay Café for breakfast and lunch
  • MacMillans/Alchemy Arts – Workshops, shop and café
  • Jester House – Situated in the Ruby Coast of Tasman, made of straw it’s a café, Bed & Breakfast and has tame eels to feed and view.

Ray, contractor with Jens Hansen team since 1989

  • Enjoys the broadly-based provincial centre in Nelson
  • Jellyfish Café & Bar in Mapua, great ambiance
  • Jester House in Tasman – voted best café
  • Loves the local art scene, especially sculptures and murals around town
  • Boulder bank – very few in the world and can be seen from some hills throughout the region
  • Nelson is very friendly, if you are looking for something, just ask a local!

Halfdan, owner since 1999

We hope you partake in some of these great activities and things to do in sunny Nelson. Be sure to stop by our shop and let us know which were your favourites!