Centre of New Zealand, Nelson

4.6
Take a stroll along one of New Zealand's most popular walks at Centre of New Zealand. Begin at Hardy Street East for the full experience--including the Botanical Reserve that, in a past life, was the site of the country's first-ever rugby game. You'll head uphill to the summit, which benefits from interpretative panels identifying the features of Nelson's landscape as you gaze out at the panoramic views. Note that this isn't the actual geographical center of the country; the site's name comes from the process of mapping New Zealand in the 1870s, when John Spence Browning, Chief Surveyor of Nelson, was asked to begin the task of surveying the country's topography using geodetic trig points. Browning started by using the hilltop as the central point for his work. Our Nelson day trip planning app makes visiting Centre of New Zealand and other Nelson attractions simple, and helps you make a travel plan personal to you.
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Centre of New Zealand Reviews
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602 reviews
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4.5
TripAdvisor
  • That climbs but on arrival what a view! The sea and the back country, all this to 360 degrees. The effort is deserved.
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  • Not an easy walk but fine if you take your time. A climb though bush with tui and fantails. On our trip we saw a black fantail. A lovely panoramic view of nelson and beyond with an informative display...  more »
  • We read the reviews here before giving this ago and was a bit confused about how much of a steep climb this would be. Our kids are 5 and almost 8 and not the most compliant walkers. It’s a 20 minute w...  more »
Google
  • So the walk is definitely 20 minutes if you choose the shorter walking track (solid yellow). It’s not particularly easy, in fact quite steep and you may want a breather halfway up but there are a few benches on the way so that should be fine. Not a lot at the top, a thing to read and a Trig point, but the view is amazing and would be better on a cheat evening for the sunset. Not actually the actual physical centre but central in relation the the regions. All in all a good walk. ⛅️👍👌
  • The Centre of New Zealand is so named because it was a central survey point in the 1800s.  Start the Botanical Hill walk at the Reserve, where the first ever rugby game was played in New Zealand. From here, there are a couple of options to take you to the top where you will enjoy spectacular views over Nelson Tasman. Inspect the native plants or catch your breath on the platform seating. From the summit, descend via one of Botanical Hill's other tracks. Or you extend your walk further by heading down the eastern side toward Branford Park to the Black Hole swimming hole and return via the Maitai Track. In the summer, take your togs to go for a swim.
  • I really liked the spot as you can see the complete view of Nelson. I'd highly recommend a bottle of water if you're going during this time of the year..
  • One of the region's iconic walks and views. Paved part of the way but a little steep in places. Worth the effort.
  • Worth checking out if you’re in Nelson. Short walk, around 20 to 30 mins, and don’t have to go out of town to see it. View from the top is good.

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Where to stay in Nelson

Nelson has the range of accommodations you would expect to find in a modern city in a great location. More upmarket hotels line the river and cluster in the city center. Budget-minded travelers will also find a number of hostels and motels here. On the outskirts of the city there are more motels, RV parks, and campsites, offering great options for those interested in outdoor excursions and city day trips.
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