Nelson, Travel Digest, May 2013


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Nelson, Travel Digest, May 2013

  1. 1. WHAT TO DO F amous for both its wineries and cycling trails, it’s hard to decide which to experience if you’re pushed for time in Nelson. Well now you don’t have to with VeloVino tours – offering both cycling and winery tours. The culmination of husband-and-wife team Glenn and Juliane Cormier makes for the perfect combination as Glenn is an avid cyclist and Juliane a certified wine professional. This duo can do no wrong as they cater to all tastes with customised tours, showcasing the best this beautiful region has to offer. Due to changeable weather, we opted for the wine tour with Juliane who picks us up from our accommodation in a comfortable Mercedes van. We’re well impressed by the wineries she’s chosen, notably sustainable and organic ones, something Nelson is well known for. We’re keen to sample the great range of wines each vineyard grows and of particular interest was boutique Rimu Grove Winery and Woollaston, where we enjoyed listening to a beautiful string quartet play in the outdoor area after our wine tasting. Juliane provides a wealth of knowledge on the different types of grapes that grow in this diverse region and the process involved in producing such a great variety of wines. Since opening the doors in October 2001, the World of WearableArt and Classic Cars Museum has been an iconic attraction of Nelson and allows visitors to enjoy the WOW experience all year round. Visitors have the opportunity to view the intricate detailing of amazing garments that feature in the WearableArt Gallery. Each year, hundreds of individuals are driven to transform an idea into reality, by designing entries. Each garment embodies hours of energy, skill and mind-bending creativity. With over 60 garments from around the globe on display to wondrous effect, using theatrical lighting, music and movement, you’ll be amazed at what can be created with some imagination. In the adjoining Classic Cars Gallery, motoring enthusiasts can marvel over approximately 40 beautifully restored and original condition classic cars and motorcycles. The car collection represents years of passionate sourcing from around the world and New Zealand and is one of Australasia’s largest private collections. An optional extra for car-lovers is the Classic Collection, an additional area displaying a further 70 classic vehicles, including several undergoing restoration – definitely worth seeing, especially for the true fans! WHERE TO STAY Conveniently located a short drive from Nelson Airport is Accor’s picturesque Grand Mercure Monaco Resort on the water’s edge. This luxury boutique accommodation looks like something out of an English countryside village. With 20 boutique rooms, a range of cosy self-contained cottages and delightful studios, the hotel provides a wonderful setting out of Nelson city. Set within the gardens, complete with climbing roses, individually planted window boxes and French doors opening to courtyards on the Village Green or river. The cottages are split level with the bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs Sunshine, cycling and brewing Nelson is the “sunshine capital” of New Zealand, but its claim extends beyond this with the recent addition of “cycling centre” and “craft brewery capital”. SARAH WEEKS escapes the busy pace of city life and visits a region offering kayaking, walking, skiing, bustling cafes, funky art galleries, craft breweries and wineries. 27TRAVEL DIGEST, May 2013
  2. 2. NELSON and an open plan lounge and kitchen downstairs, while the studios are one level with one bedroom, featuring a super king split bed, bathroom and separate lounge and dining area with kitchenette. You awake to views of the Village Green, Nelson’s mountain range and even a friendly flock of ducks greeting you at the front door! Guests can enjoy breakfast and dinner in the fabulous Orangerie Restaurant overlooking the tidal inlet and mountain ranges. Having recently won awards for both its food and service, you can enjoy a wide selection of both continental and cooked breakfast buffet. Also located at the resort is About Beauty, a haven for relaxation, wellbeing and of course, making you feel beautiful from the inside out. Set within a gorgeous red brick cottage found along a cobblestone footpath, you can pamper yourself at this luxurious beauty salon. Their qualified beauty therapists give you the best treatment, making you feel relaxed and refreshed. During my stay, I opt for the hot stone therapy massage and a pedicure – the perfect way to rejuvenate my tired body and feet after a three-day walk through the Abel Tasman National Park. The massage improves muscular aches and pains as the feeling of liquid heat rolls over your body – pure bliss! Muritai Manor is a beautiful historic B&B set amongst a semi-rural, seafront location only a few minutes drive from Nelson. Originally built in 1903, it was purchased in 1905 by Archdeacon Wright, who managed local parishes. His family lived in the house until the 1920s and since then the previous and current owners have extended and altered the main house to bring this fine old Edwardian building back to its former glory. With five guest bedrooms to choose from, each with their own unique style and ensuite bathroom, a guest dining room, guest lounge, off-street parking, extensive gardens, solar heated outdoor swimming pool and outdoor heated spa (hot-tub), you’ll feel right at home in this prestigious property. Proud owners Alex and Julia Hunter provide a warm welcome when you arrive, serving local wine and homemade nibbles to guests each evening – you feel as if you’re visiting old friends! Having moved here from the UK for the “good life”, they’ve transformed this historic estate into a delightful accommodation surrounded by a beautiful garden with a small flock of hens, which are free to roam plus a beehive to produce their own honey. Breakfast is one of the highlights of your stay as Alex and Julia make their own homemade muesli, yoghurt and the freshly laid eggs from their hens are so tasty! They can also recommend local restaurants, cafes and wineries to visit during your stay. A wonderful stay with the friendliest hosts – I wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again! WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK McCashin’s Brewery is one of the many reasons why Nelson is commonly referred to as the craft brewery capital of New Zealand. Originally the Rochdale Cider Factory, the McCashin family purchased the factory in 1980, which had been making cider for 50 years. They continue the tradition today, with an improved recipe and even winning several awards. Today the brewery is still a family business, but has expanded to include a distinctive range of beer, cider and spirits, lovingly handcrafted from traditional recipes that have been the pride of the McCashin family for almost 30 years. Their brewery is unique in that they use natural organic ingredients, including pure palaeo water sourced from an aquifer. They pride themselves in using no chemicals, preservatives, sugar, artificial colourings or flavourings. Stop by and try one of their beers or ciders – you’ll taste the difference. They also offer brewery tours, which give you an interesting insight into the process World of Wearable Art and Classic Cars Museum. CLIFFTOPS RETREAT LUXURY ACCOMMODATION IN RUBY BAY NELSON NEW ZEALAND 29TRAVEL DIGEST, May 2013
  3. 3. NELSON involved in making these refreshing beverages. After you’ve been behind the scenes, you can enjoy a tasting of their range – the perfect way to relax on a sunny afternoon. If time permits, visit the great little seaside village of Mapua on the Ruby Coast, just a half-hour drive north-west of Nelson. Its main hub is Mapua Wharf where old fruit cool stores have now been converted into galleries, boutique design stores and cafés. We decide to lunch at Jellyfish Café and Bar, a great restaurant, which produces fresh local food with a Mediterranean twist. Being right on the wharf, you’ll enjoy great views of the harbour and neighbouring Rabbit Island. The restaurant’s creativity is evident from their menu and their tuna salad with orange, shaved fennel, roast olives, mixed leaves and a smoked tomato dressing, definitely packs a punch and is full of flavour. It’s no wonder their head chef and joint owner Mark Mehalski was awarded Head Chef of 2012 at the Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence. Fantastic food, great views and friendly people. One of Nelson’s top restaurants is Ford’s Restaurant & Bar in a beautifully renovated historic villa in upper Trafalgar Street, just south of the Cathedral Steps in the central business district. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, head chef Jessie Verhoef and her team, create contemporary cuisine mixing European influences with unique New Zealand flavours. The restaurant provides a perfect setting for a romantic dinner for two – choose from outdoor seating in the sun or elegant furnishings indoors. Their chargrilled game fish with roast pumpkin and ricotta polenta, green beans, cherry tomatoes, soft egg and a black olive and anchovy dressing will excite your taste buds combining great flavours and the vanilla bean crème brulee with biscotti and fresh berries is creamy yet tart – the perfect way to end a great night out. Morrison Street Cafe is another great local gem. Upon arrival, the place is packed and you can barely find a table to sit – a great sign! As it’s name suggests, the cafe is located on the corner of Morrison Street and Hardy Street in Nelson’s central business district. Housed in a historic building, the cafe has a very homely feel to it; full of great smells and sounds. We manage to squeeze in at the end of a large wooden table and it’s not long before we receive quick and friendly service. Dining for lunch, I opt for a light lunch, marinated lamb with grilled Mediterranean vegetables – a delightful tasty and filling feast that hits the spot. Their coffee is also really good. New Zealand Fitness Balcony on the historic Muritai Manor Dreaming of the perfect Winter Holiday but still yet to book? Book a motorhome adventure with Pacific Horizon today! We have developed a range of superior motorhomes suited to a sense of freedom, adventure and comfort including: The best selling 2+1 BB campervan 4 berth motorhome with the increased living area The GEM motorhome, luxury all-ground floor living/sleeping for up to 4 people 6 berth motorhome, with the unique 6 forward facing seats The SAM motorhome, leading the way in quality and design for up to 6 people For any enquiries or to make a booking call our Reservations Freephone on 0800 808 881 or visit our website at Why choose Pacific Horizon? Four New Zealand-wide Pick-up / Drop- off locations in Auckland, Wellington, Picton & Christchurch. No one-way hire fees (subject to duration of hire). Standard insurance includes top and bottom of the vehicle, as well as windscreen and tyre cover RESERVATIONS FREEPHONE NZ: 0800 808 881 30 May 2013, TRAVEL DIGEST30