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Weekend feature – Sunny Nelson

Every summer, thousands of Cantabrians and also folk from Otago and Southland throng to Nelson beaches and rivers in search of a warm and sunny summer which is ideal for outdoor living.

Some years it maybe a little soggy but it rarely dampens family spirit and festivities. Tahunanui Beach Holiday Park is a haven for southern visitors and the camp is one of the largest in the southern hemisphere.

Nelson is often in competition with Blenheim when it comes to the total number of sunshine hours each year.  On average, Nelsonians tend to come a close second overall but this takes nothing away from the Nelson province and their abundance of the big yellow.

This part of Aoteoroa rarely experiences extremes of weather although it’s prone to some heavy rainfall and thunderstorms at anytime of year when a northerly makes its presence felt.  It is however often protected from a southerly and so sunshine prevails when much of the country is shivering and is suffering from the damp from a polar blast.

Temperature ranges are minimal with summer time highs usually in the mid to high 20’s and even though winter nights can be freezing with some hefty frosts, it’s unusual for the thermometer not to then climb into double figures, under brilliant sunshine.

Winds are also relatively light compared with a number of other areas around the country but northerlies that bring rain and thunderstorms can occasionally pack a punch.  Rocks Road, linking the city of Nelson with Tahunanui, can  at times be closed, due to strong northerlies whipping up a decent swell over the city road.

Motueka tends to be a little warmer than Nelson city but rainfall figures are somewhat higher as it’s more exposed to the west. Takaka and Collingwood have even more rain due to their western location but the picturesque scenery is more than enough to make up for the abundant rainfall.

The isolation of the province is often seen as a positive and many locals believe that this part of New Zealand is their own piece of paradise.  And of course, they have the visitor numbers from other parts of the country to back them up summer after summer!


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