Located at the Top of the South Island / Te Tau Ihu, the Nelson Tasman region is well connected to the rest of New Zealand.
Approximate flying times
Auckland to Nelson 85 minutes
Christchurch to Nelson 50 minutes
Palmerston North to Nelson 50 minutes
New Plymouth to Nelson 50 minutes
Paraparaumu to Nelson 45 minutes
Wellington to Nelson 35 minutes
Wellington to Takaka 60 minutes
Several inter-island crossing are available every day by two carriers (Bluebridge and Interislander) between Wellington and Picton then connect through to Nelson Tasman by coach or car. A short drive over the Whangamoa Ranges links Picton in the Marlborough Sounds to Nelson.
The Tasman / Golden Bay region is accessible by road from Christchurch, Blenheim, Picton and the West Coast, measured to Tanaka.
Approximate driving times
Christchurch to Takaka – 6 hours 20 minutes
Picton to Takaka – 3 hours 40 minutes
Blenheim to Takaka – 3 hours 30 minutes
Westport to Takaka – 4 hours 10 minutes
Saturday 1 June 2023: The venue for the Middle is Canaan Downs, located on top of the Takaka Plateau, on the way to Golden Bay, taking a right just below the Takaka Hill summit. Approximately 80 km away, please allow for a two-hour drive from Nelson Airport. The first starts are scheduled for 1 PM.
Sunday 2 June 2023: The venue for the Long is near Kaihoka Lakes, a brand-new map on the West Coast of Golden Bay, almost exclusively on private farmland near the Whanganui Inlet. Think karst rock formations and sand dunes, this terrain is unique in New Zealand. An hour’s drive from Takaka, the first starts are scheduled from 10 AM onwards.
Monday 3 June 2023: The venue is ‘in town’, as locals would say: Takaka’s Golden Bay High School and Takaka Primary School. The start window will be between 9-11 AM, with course closure at noon.
For everybody else, we have tried to optimise start and finish times around the required travelling. Requests for adapted start times due to travel arrangements will not be taken into consideration. We would like to encourage participants to find accommodation in Golden Bay for both Saturday and Sunday night, to minimise travel times.
Driving in New Zealand
If you’re from overseas, New Zealand roads are probably different to what you’re used to. Distances may seem short, but our roads can be narrower than you’re used to, cover hilly terrain, and vary from motorways to unsealed gravel roads.
Before you begin your journey, learn more about what’s different about driving in New Zealand:
- driving on the left-hand side of the road
- it’s easy to underestimate travelling times
- the roads are narrower, more winding and sometimes steeper than you might expect
- the roads are mostly two-way, with one lane in each direction – there are few motorways
- not all railway crossings have active warnings
- seat belts are compulsory for everyone in the vehicle
- it is illegal to use a phone while driving