Nelson, New Zealand is a charming city sitting on the eastern shores of Tasman Bay, of the Tasman Sea. Nelson is the oldest city on New Zeeland’s South Island, proclaimed by royal charter in 1858. Here are 10 unique facts about Nelson, New Zealand:
1) According to Guinness Book of World Records, the Te Waikoropupu springs in Nelson has the clearest water of anywhere in the entire world. The springs pump out approximately 14,000 liters of water every second with visibility averaging to a depth of over 60 meters. Scientists say the spring waters approach the theoretical maximum for water clarity.
2) Nelson is the “Sunshine Capital” of New Zealand and holds the record for the most amount of sunshine in both a single month as well as one year. This is confirmed by the National Climate Database and includes all data from all mainland New Zealand sources.
3) Nelson’s Arts and Media Building has the most laminated veneer lumber of any multi-storied structure in New Zealand, making the building extremely earthquake resistance and completely environmentally sustainable. All the material and design resources for the building were sourced from within a 100-kilometer radius of Nelson.
4) Despite over 80 years of effort in trying to bring a rail terminal to city, which would put an end to its isolation from other areas of New Zealand’s South Island, Nelson is the single major New Zealand city without a railway connection.
5) Nelson is unique in New Zealand for having three magnificent national parks close to the city. Abel Tasman National Park is the smallest in New Zealand and offers beaches along crystal clear water. Massive Kahurangi National Park is New Zealand’s largest and Nelson Lakes National Park is home to both Lake Rotoroa and Lake Rotoiti.
6) Not only was the film shot there, the “One Ring” featured in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy was hand crafted by local jeweler Jens Hansen. Replicas of the ring can be purchased at Hansen’s store in Nelson, and the shop is a popular stop for many contemplating proposing marriage.
7) At 102 years of age, Eric King-Turner, New Zealand’s oldest Immigrant, choose to move to Nelson form the UK to live out his later years. Turner remarked that he didn’t want to end up wishing he had moved to Nelson when he turned 105.
8) The first game of rugby played in New Zealand was held on May 14, 1870 and was played between two teams from Nelson: the Nelson Rugby Club and Nelson College. A sign at Nelson College informs visitors that Charles John Monroe, the father of New Zealand rugby, was responsible for bring the sport to New Zealand.
9) Organized by the city’s kite club, Nelson is home to the longest-running kite festival in New Zealand, a wonderful family event with food and fun activities. The festival celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011 with kite fliers from all over both the South and North Islands, and many other parts of the world, all coming together to put on a stunning kite-flying display.
10) Nelson is home to the largest motor resort in the entire southern hemisphere and is the busiest resort in New Zealand. Set on the coast, the resort offers campsites for RVs and backpackers and also has a motel and cabins.