Campervan Hire Nelson - Geography

Historically Nelson was geographically dubbed ‘the centre of New Zealand’, thanks to a Nelson-based surveyor commissioned to connect up a series of independent surveys of New Zealand – a task which he began at the summit of Botanical Hill, deemed to be ‘the centre of New Zealand’. Today it is one of the city’s most popular walkways, offering fabulous views of Tasman Bay and Mount Richmond Conservation Park, the city’s dramatic backdrop.

A short drive in your Nelson Rental Campervan to the park has several walks of geological importance through the heart of Nelson’s mineral belt. Out in the bay Fifeshire Rock, Haulashore Island, and the Boulder Bank provide safe anchorage from the pounding Tasman Sea.

The Boulder Bank, an incredible 13 kilometre long stretch of rock that has been swept southwards from the Mackay Bluffs by sea currents over a period of more than 10,000 years, can be explored on a four hour return hike scrambling over boulders of all shapes and sizes, some measuring up to 1.2 metres across.

Back in the day, the bank was a favoured fishing spot with local Maori, and boulders - some weighing up to 50 kilograms - were gathered from here to use as hammers to mine argillite in quarries in the hills. Evidence of this activity can be seen by hiking Maitai Reserve’s Rush Pools track to the Rush Pools quarry. But bear in mind that this is a sacred site; respect local customs by taking only photos, and leaving only footprints. 

Thanks to Tourism Radio for much of the content supplied about Nelson. Tourism Radio is like having your own tour guide - providing you with audio commentary of over 2000 points of interest in New Zealand. It is available for rental with any vehicle booked on

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