The Tasman region is situated at the top left-hand corner of the South Island of New Zealand. This Region was named after Abel Tasman, the first reported European to discover New Zealand. The region has a diverse landscape, with some spectacular scenery, from mountain dominated wilderness, to fertile valleys and plains. Its rivers include the Buller, Motueka, Aorere, Takaka and Wairoa Rivers. There's a lot of forest and bird life, beautiful Golden Bay and the unique Farewell Spit, with its 40 km of sand reaching out into the Tasman Sea.
Tasman region is bounded by the West Coast Region and The Nelson Region. It covers 9,786 km², and borders in the west onto the Matiri Ranges, Tasman Mountains and in the north The Tasman Sea and Cook Strait. On the northTasman Bay and Golden Bay form its seaward boundary, the eastern boundary reaches as far as Nelson city, and includes part of the Spencer Mountains and the Saint Arnaud and Richmond Ranges. The southern boundary is the Victoria Ranges. The districts highest point is Mt Owen, at 1,875 metres.
There are three national parks within the Tasman region: the Abel Tasman National Park, which is New Zealands smallest at 225.41 km², the Nelson Lakes National Park with 1,017.53 km² and the Kahurangi National Park with its 4,520 km². These three National Parks make up 58% of the regions area. Tourists come from all over the world to visit these Parks for the exceptional walking tracks and boundless fishing in the bays and rivers.
Tasman District Council headquarters are located in Richmond, neighbouring Nelson City. Other Tasman towns are Brightwater, Collingwood, Kaiteriteri, Mapua, Motueka, Murchison, Riwaka, Saint Arnaud, Takaka, Tapawera and Wakefield.
According to local legend, the Maori waka "Uruao", brought ancestors of the Waitaha people to Tasman in the 1100s. Early Maori settled mainly along the coast where there was ample food, but they also hunted the entire region. In 1842, the first immigrant ships arrived from England. European settlement of the region began under the leadership of Captain Arthur Wakefield, founder of the New Zealand Company. In the 1850s, agriculture and pastoral farming started and farming villages were established on the Waimea Plains and Motueka. The discovery of gold near Collingwood in 1856, sparked New Zealands first gold rush. Significant reserves of iron ore was extracted from Onekaka during the 1920s and 1930s. Fruit growing was established here in the late 1800s, and still is a significant industry in the region today.
Famous nuclear physicist Ernest Rutherford (1799–1843), was born at Spring Grove, near Nelson.
The Tasman Region has a wide range of accommodation, from an international standard resort hotel and conference centres, historic inns, hotels, motels, luxurious lodges, holiday homes, apartments, bed and breakfasts, homestays, farmstays, back packer hostels, holiday parks and camping grounds. Tasman accommodation can get very busy in the high season. For your peace of mind, we offer the option to check and pre-book your accommodation and activities on the links provided on this page. Enjoy your stay in our slice of paradise.
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