Nelson Bays is a region at the top of the South Island of New Zealand. The region is famed for sunshine, art and craft, and alternative lifestyles but the region has a rugged farming backbone. The region is bounded by the Richmond Ranges, Kahurangi National Park, and Nelson Lakes National Park. The Abel Tasman National Park is on the northern coast between Motueka and Golden Bay.
From the east, State Highway 6 is the main route leading from Blenheim (and Picton) through Renwick, Havelock and the Rai Valley before reaching Nelson. State Highway 6 continues south through Richmond, Wakefield, Murchison and on to Westport and the West Coast. State Highway 63 starts at Renwick and leads to St Arnaud before rejoining State Highway 6 at Kawatiri Junction.
Buses and Shuttles in and out of the region in the main follow State Highway 6. Nelson Lakes Shuttles specialize in providing transport for trampers, hikers, climbers, mountain bikers, and skiers. They run on-demand and scheduled services to St Arnaud and between Picton, Blenheim, Murchison and tramping destinations further afield.
InterCity operates daily bus services from Christchurch, Picton, Greymouth, and many other towns and cities in the South Island. Tickets start from $1 (+booking fee) and can be purchased online, over the phone, or throughout the country at numerous booking agents, including the i-SITE network. Visit intercity.co.nz for more information.
There is reasonable bus transport.
On Demand Services
Sunburn and sunstroke might be the greatest dangers in the region.
For those heading south to Christchurch, there are two options that take roughly the same length of time. State Highway 6 branches just after Murchison lending to Springs Junction. Turning east leads soon to the hot springs complex of Maruia Springs before steadily climbing up the Lewis Pass on the Main Divide of the Southern Alps. Beyond too long the turn-off to the spa town of Hamner Springs is reached, 1 1/2 hours from Christchurch. The alternative is to travel to Blenheim and then south on State Highway 1 through the whale watching town of Kaikoura. Both routes take approximately 6 hours.