Go to the river



NZ Lifestyle Magazine Group



Enjoy a coffee at River Kitchen (81 Trafalgar Street. (03) 548 1180, riverkitchennelson.co.nz) on the banks of the Maitai River before heading off along the 8km Maitai Walkway is a favourite weekend pastime for Nelsonians. But much shorter walks or bike rides can also be enjoyed on the same trail, which starts by the river in the centre of the city. The water, habitat for many species of birds, fish and mammals, is of immense spiritual, traditional and historical significance to mana whenua iwi. In the summer, children jump into various swimming holes, families enjoy real fruit ice creams, and young ones have fun at a handful of different playgrounds throughout the valley. There is also a council-owned golf course (see page 103) as well as mountain-bike tracks that snake up and down the hillside. Favourite local spots include Sunday Hole and Black Hole, both of which offer easy access to the river for a swim. Picnic benches and playgrounds make them the perfect places for the entire family to settle in for a happy afternoon. The Maitai Valley is in east Nelson; follow Maitai Valley Road.