Rental companies may charge extra for drivers aged under 25, normally payable when you pick up your car. Age restrictions may apply in certain locations. Check the rental company's website before booking.

Compare car rental prices in Nelson

Car rental in Nelson

Make the most of your trip to Nelson by renting a car for your visit. Whether it’s just to save money on the expensive taxi rides to and from the city centre or you want to use your time to explore more of the city or the entire island, there are plenty of reasons to have your own set of wheels for your holiday.

Where to hire a car in Nelson

There are plenty of options for renting a car at Nelson Airport when you land, with 6 companies offering their services in the terminal: Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, NZ Rentacar and Thrifty. These are found outside the main terminal, to your left as you exit the building.

In the city, car hire centres are more spread out. You can find popular options on Halifax Street East, Saint Vincent Street and on State Highway 6 near Russell Street.

What to expect when driving in Nelson

As one of New Zealand’s smaller cities, Nelson has quieter streets than some of its bigger counterparts. However, the real treats are to be found just outside the city.

Easily connected to the rest of the state by State Highway 6, within an hour or two you can be relaxing on a picture-perfect beach, enjoying the world’s best wine in their vineyards of origin or enjoying one of several nearby national parks.

Popular road trips from Nelson

Nelson to Blenheim

One of the obvious day trips (or longer) from Nelson is to Blenheim and the Marlborough wine region. This 90-minute journey is a picturesque drive taking you to the fringes of an area best known for its Sauvignon blanc wines. It’s important not to drive under the influence of alcohol, so if you really want to explore the produce of this region, it’s highly recommended that you book a hotel nearby and arrange a guided tour or taxi to take you home.

Nelson to Wanaka

For a weekend away, a trip to Wanaka is the perfect drive. You’ll head through the Haast Pass, alongside the world-famous Franz Josef Glacier, on your way to the lakeside town. You’ll also have chances to stop at the Pancake Rocks and some of the bluest pools of water you’ll ever see. The overall drive is more than 9 hours, so be sure to book accommodation along the way to break up your journey.

Nelson to Wellington

Although there’s a body of water between Nelson and Wellington, you can drive to the nation’s capital by going to the ferry terminal in Picton, less than 2 hours away from Nelson. Once on the North Island, you can see the sights of Wellington or head further afield and see what else you can find over the Cook Strait.

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Please note: all information is correct as of December 2018.

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