Mitai Valley from The Centre of New Zealand, on Botanical Hill

Nelson

In which Miles revisits the sunniest place in New Zealand.

To view the full gallery of 15 pictures on imgur, click here.

I had the week off work between Christmas and New Years, so I decided to use that time to get down to Nelson and make sure that I had time to find one or more places that I can use the internet that are sufficiently fast, reliable, and inexpensive – and preferably free.  Somewhere that I can plug in is also important.  I’ve discussed previously the challenges presented by internet in New Zealand.

January is peak tourist season, and what really pushes it over the top is the number of kiwis on holiday.  Campgrounds in the Nelson area were mostly booked solid, so I went to a budget campground in the Mitai Valley, less than 15 minutes from the Nelson city center.  I asked about the WiFi there, and was told that it is pretty fast.  So I went to my camping spot, got out table and chair and laptop, opened a beer.

With my VPN running, the internet was unusable.  And my legs were being eaten by biting insects.

It took the days I had left to find usable WiFi in Nelson.  It took longer to find WiFi that is convenient and comfortable.  Nearby Richmond proved to have better options, and things looked up.  Oh, and so far most – but not all – of the campgrounds I’ve stayed in since are free from pestilence.

This quest consumed a lot of my time in Nelson, so I haven’t taken any pictures of the coastline.  I will be back there, and I will get some more pics of Nelson.  For now, here are a couple from 2006.

Tasman Bay, Nelson
Tasman Bay, Nelson
Tasman Bay, Nelson
Tasman Bay, Nelson

In 2006 I didn’t visit The Centre of New Zealand, on Botanical Hill, so I made up for that in 2016.  At the bottom of Botanical Hill is the site of the first rugby match in New Zealand.

Site of the first rugby game in New Zealand
Site of the first rugby game in New Zealand

A short walk on the Centre of New Zealand Walkway brought me to a viewing platform offering views in every direction.

Nelson from The Centre of New Zealand, on Botanical Hill
Nelson from The Centre of New Zealand, on Botanical Hill
Nelson from The Centre of New Zealand, on Botanical Hill
Nelson from The Centre of New Zealand, on Botanical Hill
Mitai Valley from The Centre of New Zealand, on Botanical Hill
Mitai Valley from The Centre of New Zealand, on Botanical Hill
Nelson from The Centre of New Zealand, on Botanical Hill
Nelson from The Centre of New Zealand, on Botanical Hill
Nelson from The Centre of New Zealand, on Botanical Hill
Nelson from The Centre of New Zealand, on Botanical Hill
The Centre of New Zealand, on Botanical Hill
The Centre of New Zealand, on Botanical Hill
The Centre of New Zealand, on Botanical Hill
The Centre of New Zealand, on Botanical Hill

Is it really the center of New Zealand?

Short answer: No.

Medium length answer: C’mon, the site of the first rugby game is just down the hill!

Long answer: http://nelson.govt.nz/recreation/recreation/parks-and-reserves/centre-of-nz

TL;DR: No.

I’ve been told more than once that Nelson is the sunniest place in New Zealand.  Is it really?

Short answer:  No.

Long answer:  http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/64614113/where-is-the-sunniest-place-in-new-zealand

It is certainly fair to ask if Nelson is really the site of the first rugby game in New Zealand, and my brief Google research has revealed no reason to believe that this isn’t an actual claim to fame for Nelson.

Nelson can also claim an actual cathedral, with an actual bishop.

Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral

I’ll bring you back to Nelson in the near future.

To view the full gallery of 15 pictures on imgur, click here.

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