Nelson, Art Capital of New Zealand
Between Nelson and Golden Bay there are over 300 working artists. Painters, sculptors, ceramic artists, potters, glass blowers, jewelers, writers and creators.
Our central location is close to many art galleries and performance venues. You can walk to almost all of them from our downtown backpackers Nelson.
Outdoor Art and City Art Walks
We are very proud of our connection to the amazing Artists and creative individuals that call Nelson home.We have one of the largest and well known outdoor murals in the city. Painted in 1995 by Finnish Artist, Siirpa Alalaakkola, it is titled 'Modiglianis Trout'. The mural is in the style of famous Italian artist Modigliani, known for his use of mask-like faces and elongated forms. It features a humorous take on an iconic New Zealand outdoors scene. Take a a look when you get here. Not only has she captured the wonderful New Zealand Great outdoors with a fresh style she has dropped in a couple of famous Kiwiana references that she so often includes in her pieces. See if you can recognise them? Don’t worry if you can’t we’ll help point them out when you get here
Stay with us in the heart of Nelson
and discover the city's outdoor art
Nelson is well known for its vibrant arts culture. Our backpackers hostel is situated in the heart of the city with Galleries, art studios and Outdoor Murals all within an easy walk.
Temporary art is an important way of enlivening our streetscapes and has been used to express viewpoints of Nelson as a place to be, its history and attitudes. This walk looks at a range of murals and mosaics in the central city.
All are dependent on the lifespan of the public or private structure they adorn but some have lasted well over 20 years already.
Your free guide to events in Nelson, New Zealand. Find out what's on in the Nelson Tasman region, including shows, festivals, sporting events, theatre.
At the Hostel we also have copies of the Star Gig Guide. This is a weekly publication of events at Local Bars and smaller venues.
Art Galleries and Museums
The Creative Pathway Brochure covers artists who operate in the greater Nelson region and is worth a look if you have a car and want to explore a bit further afield.
The Suter Art Gallery is New Zealand's third oldest art museum. It was closed for 2 years to undergo a $12 million revamp and reopened in October 2016.
Less than 10 minutes walk from our hostel, the Suter has constantly changing exhibits, a great café and a perfect location beside the historic Queen's Garden.
The World of Wearable Arts competition began in Nelson in 1987. While the annual event has moved to Wellington and become internationally acclaimed, the best designs of the last 10 years are on display in Nelson.
Check out the amazing garments at the WOW Complex. Art you can wear created from diverse and exciting materials including shell, wire, paper mache, paua, wool, plastic and more.
The Nelson Provincial Museum is on the corner of Trafalgar and Hardy Street, just a minutes walk from our Hostel. The museum provides an insight into the geographical history and human settlement of Nelson.
There are two main gallery spaces featuring permanent and temporary exhibitions.
Nelson has a culture of Markets and they are a great place to discover local products and meet the people that have produced them. The Saturday market has been going for over 30 years.
It is literally on our doorstep -in the Montgomery Carpark next to our Hostel! Saturday morning 8am to 1pm this famous Nelson Market has something for everyone. All locally made …… art, crafts and clothing, lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, cheeses, breads, honey, seafood and more. It’s a great place for an early coffee and to buy the ingredients for a delicious picnic lunch. Listen to the buskers and people watch.
OPEN EVERY WEDNESDAY, RAIN OR SHINE, FROM 8.30am -1.30pm
Kirby Lane, 105 Bridge Street
(about 5 minutes walk from the hostel).
The stalls are set up in the open air space beside The Kitchen Cafe. There are fantastic regular stalls and some quirky seasonal stalls too.
For honest to goodness, down to earth, home grown, hand made, whole natural foods from the Nelson region.
Monty's Sunday Market is also in the car park beside our Hostel. A great place to find pre-loved clothes, recycled tools, books, CDs etc, antiques, collectables, homewares, produce, toys, retro, new and imported goods. There are also fresh produce stalls and food stalls offering coffee and delicious breakfast or brunch options.
Theatre & Music
From live music at local bars & inside the Yurt to outdoor theatre at Fairfield House, there is a variety of theatre and music to see in Nelson... Check out the It's on website to find out what's happening while you are in town.
The Theatre Royal Nelson
Built in 1878 its the oldest wooden theatre still in use in the Southern Hemisphere. It underwent a complete restoration and reopened in 2010. The grandeur of the 1878 auditorium was reinstated and ensures an historic atmosphere. Check it out just across the road from our Hostel at 78 Rutherford Street. www.theatreroyalnelson.co.nz
Be entertained in style and comfort. Elegant, comfortable and technically excellent, The Theatre Royal is the perfect place to enjoy theatre shows and live music."
Formerly know as the Nelson School of Music the main auditorium is renowned for its acoustics and is considered to be one of the best in the Southern Hemisphere for chamber music. It is home to the international Adam Chamber Music Festival which is held every two years.
Recently reopened after extensive refurbishment and earthquake strengthening.
Open all year round. The Hoglund family invite you to their glass studio gallery.
The team blows glass five days a week. Call ahead before you visit If you are interested in watching glassblowing in action, as the schedules are subject to change.
Blown perfume-bottles, vases, goblets and bowls in beautiful colours by Ola and Ossie and fused glass jewellery and glass beads handmade by Marie, Annie and Mel.
What People Say
Friendly staff & lots of space, though the German group didn't tidy up after themselves the hostel staff thankfully did it for them. Free fresh bread & assorted random baked goodies available every day which was lovely & 2 clean kitchen areas with lots of space...
Stayed March 2016, travelled solo
Trip Advisor testimonial