I’ve been thinking for some time about this but I can’t quite put my finger on it. What gives a place its character, the essence of its appeal, its ‘je ne sais quoi’. Just a small town by world standards, TripAdvisors standards voted Nelson the 3rd most charming town in the world in 2009. And charming it is, snuggly nestling amongst and beneath surrounding hills, dipping its toes in the long swaths of waterfront with shallow sandy beaches. Ambling tree lined shopping streets with myriad pavement coffee shops, you won’t be overwhelmed by bustling crowds even in summer, and whilst Nelson might not have everything you might want, it offers everything you’ll need. Interesting cafes and restaurants, vineyards, restaurants in vineyards, (no vineyards in restaurants I know of….yet), myriad small craft breweries, boutique shops, a restored theatre, a vibrant creative arts scene with regular music and arts festivals, including one of my personal summer favourates, outdoor movies. The large eclectic Saturday market is often cited as one of the best in New Zealand, and there you’ll meet so much of what gives Nelson it’s charm and ‘joie de vivre’ – the friendliness of its eclectic people. And a climate that sees a superior amount of sunshine from September right through to May, balmy but not oppressive, undoubtedly adds a huge amount of appeal. Why would you want to be cooped up in a bland tin box when you could be enjoying that from the cool leather armchairs of RentAClassics suave and effortless Saab 93 convertible? Cruising along the Rocks Road waterfront top down in a summers day sunset, your own digital music playing through our BYO Soundtracks system, is truly a delight for all the senses.
And then within just 20 minutes drive, you could be taking in high sea views, picnicing by a woodland beach, sampling local wines, and admiring the green rolling hills, (they do that even without the wine tasting). Indeed our RentAClassic video was shot on coastal road within this very driving distance of Nelson. Drive for an hour or so and you’re by vast lakes, into some serious mountain tramps by churning rivers, (or if you prefer, gentle woodland ambles by trickling streams). Your drive could take you exploring near the edge of the world by the Marlborough Sounds or to the threshold of the clear blue waters of the unspoilt Abel Tasman National Park. An enticing eaterie or comfortable pillow for the night is never too far away though, and RentAClassic can give you plenty of personal recommendations to get the most out of your road trip. There’s plenty of active stuff to do too – kayaking, mountain biking, skiing, quad biking, boating, swimming with seals or dolphins, tramping, cycling….but biased though we are, we’d recommend RentAClassic as your prime transport of delight. Instead of souless expressways and vast concrete expanses, the uncrowded roads framed by natural beauty make for an idyllic touring environment……and doesn’t that merit something rather special to see it all from? Yes you could certainly find cheaper hire cars, but we doubt you’ll find anything as fun or as characterful as RentAClassics 1972 MG BGT – you’ll be charmed, we’re sure!
Sir Gandalf himself, who could be said to have fair counsel on matters pertaining to these islands, probably put his finger, (or maybe staff?) on it. He declared himself amazed at the perfect paradise Nelsonians get to wake up in every day. And even if you’re only awaking with us for just a few of those days, why not enjoy touring all the more by driving cars (almost) as memorable as the area itself? Direct internal flights from the international airports of Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington only take 75, 60 or 35 minutes respectively, so why not skip the crowds and long hauls and get straight to the heart of New Zealand, by making Nelson your self drive touring base? Whatever paradise is, the Nelson region feels like it might have an unfair share of it. Why not view the Nelson Tourism video to get a taste of what we’re fortunate enough to live and work in. RentAClassic would love to help share the experience with you, and in some small way, contribute further to making that taste of paradise.