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10 Things to Do in Nelson on a Rainy Day

National WOW Museum & Nelson Classic Car Collection - Nelson Tasman

What to do in Nelson in bad weather.

If you catch a rainy day in New Zealand’s sunniest city, you’re going to feel pretty cheated. Nevertheless, the South Island city still has plenty of indoor activities to keep you entertained during your visit. There are plenty of opportunities to be cultured at the selection of art galleries and museums, plenty of ways to tickle your tastebuds at the surrounding breweries and wineries, and plenty of ways to connect with your travel buddies at indoor entertainment centres. Check it all out with this list of things to do in Nelson on a rainy day!

While you’re here, you might also be interested in 10 Nelson Must-Dos and 15 Things to Do in Nelson City.

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1. Go on a Nelson art crawl

Nelson and the surrounding region is a hub for creativity. The art galleries in Nelson are a great excuse to get out of the rain, be inspired and pick up some authentic souvenirs. Visit The Suter Art Gallery located in the heart of Nelson. See glassblowing in action at the Hoglund Glassblowing Studio in Richmond. Or how about checking out the pottery at the Alchemy Arts Centre in Richmond? Find more galleries in the area with our 11 Nelson Art Galleries That Will Inspire You.

Location: Nelson and Richmond
Nelson Tasman

2. Visit the local breweries

Yep, New Zealand loves its beer! Nelson locals, in particular, give beer brewing a go with several fantastic breweries to visit in the suburb of Richmond. Visit Eddyline Brewery & Pizzeria, the Sprig & Fern Brewery and much more. Check out the full list at 8 Craft Breweries in Nelson You Have to Try.

Location: Richmond

3. Sample wines at the surrounding wineries

If you’re more of a wine-o then keep out of the rain the best way possible – with a glass of fabulous New Zealand wine in hand. Just outside of Nelson, in the Richmond and Hope area, the landscape is awash with vines and wineries waiting for their creations to be sampled. Visit the cellar doors of Nelson’s wineries and for a great thing to do on a rainy day in Nelson! See your options in 23 Nelson Wineries on the Nelson Wine Trail.

Location: Richmond and Hope
Nelson Tasman

4. Visit the Nelson Provincial Museum

Expand your knowledge of the Nelson region at this fantastic museum in the heart of the city. The Nelson Provincial Museum has interactive and informative displays going through the natural and social history of Nelson Tasman, suitable for any age group.

Location: Corner Trafalgar Street and Hardy Street
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5. Go quad biking

Adventure can still be found in Nelson even on a rainy day. Jump on a quad bike tour at the Cable Bay Adventure Park, with the idea that, well, quad biking is so much more fun (and muddier) in the rain! No experience is required, as you’ll get full instruction before you set off on an exciting journey through native forest and farmland. The tour takes approximately 1h30mins.

Location: 194 Cable Bay Road
Cable Bay Adventure Park

6. Play mini golf

Mini golf is always fun, right? Play a game while keeping out of the rain at the RoadHogs Mini Golf. Play 18 holes with a road theme and a glow-in-the-dark section! The centre also has a virtual reality experience and other ever-changing indoor attractions.

Location: Selwyn Place

7. Visit the WOW Museum & The Nelson Classic Car Collection

Discover the World of Wearable Art (WOW) and a collection of beautifully restored classic cars all in one place at the WOW Museum & Nelson Classic Car Collection. See some of the wackiest and intriguing fashion pieces in the WOW displays and the vehicles of yesteryears in this indoor attraction that has something for everyone.

Location: 1 Cadillac Way
National WOW Museum & Nelson Classic Car Collection - Nelson Tasman

8. Get competitive at the Action Entertainment Centre

A fantastic place to blow off some steam and have fun with your mates or family, the Action Entertainment Centre in Richmond offers a wealth of indoor sports activities. Have a go at ten-pin bowling, mini golf, indoor sports courts and “Inflatable World” for the kids.

Location: 30 McPherson Street, Richmond

9. Take a look around the Christ Church Cathedral

One of Nelson’s most iconic buildings is open for visitors all day from 9am. Take a look around this grand Anglican cathedral built in 1925, using materials from around the region.

Location: Trafalgar Square
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10. Binge watch New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year

Get some inspiration for your next epic New Zealand activity by watching New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year on YouTube! Watch as these backpackers take on 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand! Make sure to subscribe

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