The Telegraph in the UK has listed Nelson and Marlborough as part of their top 20 destinations for 2015. It is easy to see why.
Staying at Arrow motels, the large and excellent swimming location, Tahunanui Beach is an easy 5-10 minute walk.
But when you can swim there every day sometimes you want variety and Nelson has many places to go. The other day we went for a picnic at the beautiful Gardens of the World. (Entry by donation.) It is about 20 minutes drive from the Arrow Motel. It has plants from all over the world as well as water features and plenty of places to eat in the shade.
It is also a short drive from the Lee Valley so after our picnic we went there for a swim. On arrival at the first swimming holes at the Lee Reserve (free), the kids wanted to keep going up the river to the less crowded spots.
But as you can see there was plenty of room. This spot was a great place to swim as there was the very deep swimming holes as well the shallows. Swimming in rivers maybe called wild swimming in the UK but here it is just part of summer.
After the swim we decided to go an ice cream crawl for afternoon tea. There are many places in the region that sell delicious ice cream so it was a hard choice narrowing down three.
First was Berrylands in Appleby (108 Appleby Highway) with their berries straight off the farm, mixed with ice cream. We also bought fresh peas for dinner while we were here.
Next was a stop at the Richmond Mall for Buonissimo gelato.
Lastly the Nelson Stalwart in Montgomery Square of Penguinos. Penguinos is a bit of a Nelson institution.
The verdict, while all were tasty, Penguinos was the creamiest and the tastiest – it hasn’t won all those awards on the wall for nothing.
The compendium in the motel has maps and details about our favourite local picnic and swimming spots as well as other activities in the region. You can get a print out of the details from reception.