It is not easy for me to write about Nelson.
Somehow, this sunny town bespoke regrets and unfinished businesses. Urgent matters at home have commanded my immediate return. My departure was swift and in many ways, painful. Sometimes, I still shudder at those memories. My emotions then were a stark contrast to all that Nelson represents.
Still, this unique city is special in many ways.
Known for her sunny and spiritual outlook, the city of Nelson (established in 1841) is the second oldest city settled in New Zealand. Despite this, people who reside here are probably the most receptive towards new-age thinking. In my humble opinion, Nelson is very “zen”. Yoga practices, spiritual enlightenment, feng shui etc. are common interests, evident in this positive community.
My stay in Nelson was short, but insightful. Besides invoking much thought (some of which I may share in the near future), she also triggered a renewal to a subject I used to have much interest in: sustainable tourism. Dwindling tourist numbers in this old city have led to the recent closure of several local crafts’ shops. I could not help but to feel saddened with such news. Nonetheless, that is a story for another day. I have to stop rambling.
In the meantime, here’s what I learnt about the Nelson city.
Blessed with the highest sunshine hours (annual average of >2400 hours of sunshine!) in the South Island, Nelson has one of the best climates among all major New Zealand centres. It is located on the eastern shores of Tasman Bay and her Maori name “Whakatū” means ‘build’, ‘raise’, or ‘establish’. Interestingly, there are a few cities in New Zealand that have their own flag and Nelson happens to be one of them.