guest(s) arriving  and staying night(s)

Location Map for
AMBER HOUSE - at the centre!™
Bed and Breakfast Guest House (B&B) in Nelson city centre - handy for Tahunanui Beach, Restaurants, Founders Park and the 3 National Parks of Abel Tasman, Kahurangi and Nelson Lakes in the `Top of the South' Island of New Zealand (NZ).

Most long distance buses (and the City Tour and local buses) stop right outside Amber House if you ask the driver.
(Some drivers know our bus stop as "Paradiso")

Nelson Airport is 8.6km (5.3 miles) away.
The supershuttle™ bus, 0800 SHUTTLE  (0800 74 88 85) meets each flight and charges approximately $17 for the first passenger and then $4 per additional passenger to and from Nelson city centre and Amber House.
Nelson City Taxis - 0800 10 88 55 charge about $27 to or from the airport for one to four passengers.
(That differing fare structure means that the Shuttle is usually cheaper for one, two or three passengers but their journey may take slightly longer depending on who is on board. The Shuttle can carry lots of luggage in its trailer.)
Although Nelson (NSN) is the fourth busiest airport in New Zealand, its flights often arrive ahead of time and checked baggage is usually available within 10 minutes of your flight landing.

State Highway 6 to the Trafalgar Street roundabout, turn South on Trafalgar Street (Nelson's main shopping street), then 1st road on left (Wainui Street) becomes Weka Street after 260 metres and 46 Weka Street is then the large, white, two storey house on the right after another 480m.
On foot or driving from the DOC Nelson Region Visitor's Centre: Exit the Centre.
Turn right and right again into Trafalgar Street. Head north for 400m (towards SH6) and take the 4th turn right into Wainui Street which becomes Weka Street after 260m.

Enjoy an invigorating walk to the golden sands of Tahunanui Beach to the west

If you've appropriate hardware and you're using a good browser (eg: Firefox) you'll now see a 'click & drag' map below - Amber House should be positioned dead centre at Latitude -41.2666 South, Longitude 173.2931 East
You can zoom in for a closer look at our location by clicking the [+] button in the map's top left corner if you first change from Terrain view to either Map view or Satellite view...

icon marking the City Centre of Nelson = City Centre of Nelson        icon marking the location of Amber House = AMBER HOUSE - at the centre!™       icon marking the Centre of New Zealand = Centre of New Zealand       

View the Location of AMBER HOUSE - at the centre!™ B&B in a larger map in a new tab...

Nelson is New Zealand's sunniest city and the Nelson-Tasman region is a major fruit growing area.

Nelson lies between the northern edge of the Southern Alps and Tasman Bay on the northern coast of the South Island and the Nelson/Richmond conurbation is New Zealand`s tenth largest city and fourth busiest Airport while retaining small town informality and friendliness.

Like most of New Zealand, Nelson lies in a region with a high incidence of earthquakes. However, Amber House has survived three major earthquakes undamaged while less resilient buildings in Nelson collapsed. Writers have speculated that this is partly because of the inherent flexibility of Amber House's colonial wooden construction and partly due to the alternate layers of sand and mud beneath its foundations acting as a natural shock absorber.


Centre of New Zealand

Nelson is the geographical centre of New Zealand but, (confusingly for private pilots who sometimes take off from Wellington Airport, mistakenly head South instead of West and then run out of fuel and crash in the Pacific Ocean), Nelson is actually very slightly North of a line drawn due West from New Zealand's capital situated on the North Island.

Nelson is home to many festivals and has a flourishing Arts and Crafts community that gave rise to the famous World of Wearable (WoW) Art Awards. The World of Wearable Art museum is a must-see in Nelson!
(What a pity that their architecturally lyrical and flowing building has to endure the new garish orange 'shed' of the Mitre 10 Megastore just behind it...)


Abel Tasman, Nelson Lakes and Kahurangi National Parks

Nelson is unique in being surrounded by no less than three National Parks and our region offers a lavish and beautiful variety of landscapes including some of the best beaches in New Zealand, the Abel Tasman National Park and Alpine terrain in both the Nelson Lakes and Kahurangi National Parks.

Nelson Lakes has the Rainbow Ski field and a 'mainland island' nature recovery project at Lake Rotoiti with great trout fishing.

Kahurangi National Park is enormous and populated by Nikau Palms (the worlds most southerly Palm tree) which makes this temperate area look tropical. Kahurangi contains New Zealand's most extensive forest stretching right up to the tops of the Mount Arthur Range. The Sumo wrestlers of the mollusc world, the carnivorous Powelliphanta superba prouseorum snails, slither through the ferns hunting giant earthworms. Weighing in at weights that a Hamburger would be proud of they can measure nearly nearly 4 inches (90mm) across and are yet another NZ evolutionary oddity. Kahurangi is variously interpreted as `treasured possession' or `precious jewel'.

Farewell Spit, the most northerly point of the South Island, is a long sandbar which stretches out 35km from the very tip of the South Island and is notorious for whale strandings and Israeli backpackers.

In the pristine Kahurangi National Park, a massive range of limestone has metamorphosed into hard marble containing the deepest dry cave systems in the Southern Hemisphere. At the base of these cave systems, lies the resurgence of the Pearse River whose crystal clear waters erupt from the base of the mountains.

On Wednesday, 21 March 2007, a team of international cave divers set a new record by diving to a depth of 177m (more than 580 feet below ground level) in the Pearse Resurgence near Mount Arthur.

The record depth was reached after the team spent 10 days diving in this amazing cave system located about 40 miles west of Amber House.

A spokesman for the group said that diving in the Pearse system was fantastic as the caves were so large it wasn't claustrophobic.

"It's like diving down a railway tunnel. The water is actually gin clear, it's like you are not in water - it's like being in air."

The spokesman said it took Rick Stanton of England about 20 minutes to get down to 170m. However, the ascent took six hours as it had to be done slowly to allow for decompression with the divers using special "rebreather" tanks (allowing them to stay underwater for up to eight hours) and wearing heated vests and thick thermal clothing under their dry-suits to stay warm. There were problems with lights imploding because of the extreme depths.

Another member of the team, Mr Harris, said diving in the Pearse was completely different from other cave dives he had done.

"This cave is particularly spectacular because of the size of its passages and the clarity of the water. But the cold makes it a pretty forbidding place as well."

The Mount Arthur range had large, dry cave systems and the next challenge was to find a link from the Pearse Resurgence into other systems in the area, he said.


World time differences from Nelson

(May not be displayed in non-standard and sub-standard browsers from Mickysoft...)

Nelson Haven

A few hundred metres to the North of Amber House is Nelson Haven, an important feeding and roosting area for waders, including Eastern Bar-tailed Godwit, Banded Dotterel and Variable Oystercatcher.

Four Nelson Bays Bar-tailed Godwits flew their way into the record books in March 2007 with non-stop flights of more than 10,000km from New Zealand to the Yellow Sea off the coast of Korea.

The Godwits, tracked by satellite transmitters, did not stop to eat or drink on the first leg of their northern migration - which usually ends in Alaska. No other animal shows such endurance.

The female birds took from 6 to 7 days to cover the route, flying up to 2km high at an average speed of 56 km/h and covering distances of 10,063km to 10,205km.

When the Godwits set out from New Zealand they are clinically obese, but they lose about half their bodyweight in each leg of the migration.

Upon arriving in the tidal flats of the Yellow Sea they land with drooping wings, have a big drink and then stay on for a month or two to refuel.

In September they will return, flying in a straight line across the Pacific Ocean from Alaska to the New Zealand coast.


Floods and Land Slides!

Copyright 2011 PATRICK ROSE/Nelson Mail. The slip on Birds Hill on the Main Road between Takaka
and Collingwood On 14th December 2011 a rainstorm began in Nelson that was to be recorded as "the most intense to have ever been recorded in any urban New Zealand town". The heavy rain continued for 3 solid days and the consequent flooding caused cars, homes, people and animals to be washed away. Sodden and saturated hillsides moaned, groaned and finally slid towards the sea carrying much in their path. Miraculously nobody was killed!

Here in Amber House we were completely unscathed; our forebears had chosen a site that remained unaffected by either floods or slips.

"This is not just exceptional - this has never happened before" said Nelson-Tasman Civil Defence operations controller Jim Frater at the time. To read further about the catastrophic events, please visit the website of one of New Zealand's oldest newspapers, The Nelson Mail...


Sharks in Tasman Bay

In recent years, the increased seal population may have caused an increase in sharks in the area, including the protected great white shark, say commercial fishermen.

Nelson set-net fisherman Justin Searle said that in the years he had fished in Tasman Bay he had never seen a mako like the one that stranded and died in Mapua on 14 November 2008, but he had seen an increase in great white (white pointer) sharks. The closest one he had seen was eight nautical miles from the Cut.

"The white pointer is around here more than people think, and I would say that the seal population has something to do with that," said Mr Searle, who is the Port Nelson Fisherman's Association vice-president.

New Zealand shark expert Clinton Duffy said the bulk of the great white's diet was other fish and marine mammals like seals were "ice cream" to them. He said it stood to reason that Tasman Bay, which was a productive fishery, would attract large shark species.

Mr Duffy said a small great white was seen by a surfcaster in the Blind Channel off Tahunanui Beach a couple of years ago. It snatched an eagle ray near where the surfcaster was standing.

"There's no real need to get too worried, and I don't say that flippantly, because I am a diver. These sharks occur all around New Zealand, but it's more common for a great white to swim past and eyeball someone than bite. They seem to be able to discriminate divers and surfers from their natural prey," Mr Duffy said.

Touch the Sea Aquarium marine educator in Mapua Richard de Hamel also believed it was possible the seal population had attracted more sharks.

"Everything is related to everything else, and if seal numbers are increasing, that does provide a dinner bell for large predators that go for them," he said.
"That's not to say that presents an increased risk to humans."

The great white shark is protected in New Zealand under the Wildlife Act, and by the Fisheries Act outside the exclusive economic zone.

Nelson fisherman Darren Guard said with the seal population "thicker than ever" in Tasman Bay, it was no surprise that sharks were increasing in number.


Sport fishing

Copyright 2008 MARTIN DE RUYTER/Nelson Mail. ALL THAT GLISTERS IS NOT OLD: Eric King-Turner, 103, with a glistening brown 
trout caught in the Motueka River with the guidance of Nelson Mail columnist Zane Mirfin. Amber House is surrounded by great fishing opportunities in both Tasman Bay and the numerous local rivers and lakes, as this excerpt from the Nelson Mail indicates:-

"Eric King-Turner had a good day fly-fishing in the Motueka River, catching a lovely four-pound (1.8kg) brown trout - not bad for a 103-year-old fisherman.

Mr King-Turner became a media celebrity at the start of 2008 by becoming Britain's oldest emigrant, moving to New Zealand with his 87-year-old Kiwi wife, Doris.

He said then that his new adventure meant he would be able to indulge his passion for fly-fishing.

That's what he did on Friday when he went fishing with Nelson guide Zane Mirfin..." (from Nelson firm strike Adventure.)

To read the rest of the story, please visit the website of one of New Zealand's oldest newspapers, The Nelson Mail. (Eric happily enjoyed married life and fishing in Nelson until he died, aged 104, on 01 November 2009.)



People in Nelson tend to be slimmer than the rest of the New Zealand population which is rather fat.
The OECD Health Data 2012 report nominates Godzone as the second fattest nation in the developed world!
(These figures may be skewed by accuracy. The fattest reported countries submit figures based on actual measures of people’s height and weight, while estimates for most other countries are based on self-reported data.)

However, a recent Nelson Marlborough District Health Board report shows that folks in the Top of the South have less than half the clinical obesity rate of New Zealand taken as a whole.

The health board's Nutrition and Physical Activity programme (NPA) was started in 2006 to combat obesity locally.
The programme's manager, Helen Steenbergen, stated that Nelson's lifestyle contributed to the trim figures: "The people that live here make the most of the environment and a lot of people are able to access good quality fruit and vegetables." Nelson's statistics should set an example for the rest of the world."
"We have incredibly good health statistics. We believe Nelson-Marlborough can be the first district in New Zealand, and one of the first in the world, to turn around the obesity epidemic."

Figures released on 23 April 2007 by Statistics New Zealand showed that 3774 people born in the United Kingdom and Ireland lived in the Nelson City Council area and made up 9.1 per cent of its population - the highest proportion of residents from the North East Atlantic Archipelago in New Zealand - with another 9.5 per cent of Nelson residents born overseas in other locations outwith New Zealand.

While Britons remained the biggest migrant group in New Zealand as a whole, 2006 saw China overtook Australia for the first time to come in second on the list. There were 202,401 people born in England living in New Zealand, 78,117 born in China, and 62,742 from Australia - while Scotland dropped to eighth place from its previous fifth place New Zealand ranking.

In the 2006 census, 1,297,104 people (34.7 percent) stated that they had no religion.

New Zealand became increasingly ethnically diverse between the 2001 and 2006 censuses and saw an almost 50 percent jump in the number of Asian people living in the country. People identifying as Filipino increased by 52.7 per cent to 16,938 persons - in fourth place after China (40.5% increase), India (68.2% increase) and Korea (61.8% increase).

Neither the City of Nelson nor Tasman district saw quite as big an increase, although there was a 23.7 percent rise in the number of Asians living in Nelson and a 35.4 percent rise in the number in Tasman district.

Nelson's total population rose from 41,568 in 2001 to 42,888 in 2006, while Tasman district's rose from 41,352 to 44,625.

One of the world's longest place names
(Taumata-whakatangihanga-koauau-a-Tamatea-pokai-whenua-ki-tana-tahu in Maori)
is just south of Dannevirke, in the North Island, on the bilingual maori map of New Zealand below:

Map of New Zealand with English and Maori names of localities

Driving times and distances from Nelson

• Times are only a rough guide for a direct route and don't allow for any stops.
• Allow more time if driving in a campervan and when driving conditions are less than ideal.

Unlike most of the drivers, New Zealand roads are of a reasonable quality, but with no clues as to the severity of bends provided by centre line spacing. New Zealand drivers typically follow much too closely and stupidly regard the open road speed limit of 100km/h as a target rather than exercise their own judgement.
Police very rarely ticket inconsiderate and dangerous drivers that do not afford cyclists and horses the two clear metres of space they need, concentrating instead in a monomaniacal way on enforcing the counterproductive cycle helmet rules.
Considering the beautiful scenery, the many places of interest along the way and the number of drunken and incompetent drivers on the roads that consider overtaking to be either a spasm manoeuvre or a calculated insult to the passed driver's manhood, you may find that you take much more time than you had planned for.
Please take your time and keep to the left.
Unless you're in a one way street, it is a criminal offence to stop on the right of the road.
Put your Mouse on Nelson in the table below...
Franz Josef
Hanmer Springs
Milford Sound
Mount Cook
Te Anau
Lake Tekapo

Fuel Economy Calculator

This all means that, although New Zealand is safer to drive in than most countries (and certainly you are much safer as a motor vehicle occupant in the South Island of New Zealand than in primitive states like the USA or Russia), New Zealand as a whole is still about twice as dangerous as states like Cuba, Japan, the Netherlands, Uruguay, Singapore, Switzerland and the United Kingdom that are more concerned for the health of their populations - as the map below shows!
Killings and maimings of cyclists by motorists are another story, though. The typical kiwi driver acts like they are a participant in a video game with very poor forward hazard assessment. The typical kiwi driver will be more concerned with painted markings on the road than in affording a cyclist their safety zone of two metres passing width ...
Road deaths per 100,000 population in the World 2009

North Island drive times & distances calculator at AccommodatioNZ New ZealandTravel Times and Distances Calculator

Interactive Google map:-
plan routes; times and distances


New Zealand Weather

Click on a place name to view detailed information and a one week forecast.
crap code - - - Auckland 
crap code - - - - - - Taupo 
crap code  New Plymouth 
crap code - - - - - Nelson 
crap code - - - - Westport 
crap code - - - - - Hokitika 
crap code - - - - - - Haast 
crap code - - - Invercargill 
weather map
  Tauranga - - crap code
  Gisborne - - crap code
  Napier - - - - crap code
  Wellington - crap code
  Kaikoura - - crap code
  Christchurch  crap code
  Queenstown crap code
  Dunedin - - - crap code

World Weather:
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Currency Converter  |  NZ tide times and marine forecasts  |  International Dialling Codes
Graph of sunrise, sunset, dawn and dusk times for Nelson

FM Radio Stations in Nelson, New Zealand

 Preset station number on Amber House's 
iPod/iPhone alarm/docks
 FM Frequencies with
loud + clear reception at
 Amber House are in bold 
 Radio Station 
  88.1 Southern Star
  88.2 Visitor Radio
  88.4 Mainland FM
 01  88.8 The Edge
02 89.6 Classic Hits
03 90.4 Hauraki - classic rock
04 91.2 Concert FM
05 92.8 More FM
06 93.6 Life fm
07 94.4 The Rock
95.2 George FM
08 96.0 Radio Live
09 96.8  Today's Hit Music ZM 96.8 
10 97.6 The Breeze
11 98.4 The Sound
99.2 Magic
12 100.8 Coast
13 101.6 National Radio
14 104.8 Fresh FM
 (broadcasts BBC World 
news bulletins) 
15 107.2 Fresh FM (inner city)
 (broadcasts BBC World 
news bulletins) 
  107.4 Radio Robot
  107.5 Tourist FM
  107.7 The Overcomer Ministry

(Frequencies revised and adjusted 10 November 2015)

AMBER HOUSE - at the centre!™

 guest(s) arriving  and staying night(s)

Amber House is a member of the Canada Bed 
and Breakfast Hosts Association and is rated 'Platinum Maple Leaf' one hundred per cent new zealand logo Gold Member of New Zealand Tourism Guide

Webpage version 80e, 10 November 2015

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