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The Nelson Sightseeing Double Decker Experience is an excellent way to see Nelson's best attractions. Tickets and bus stops are available from the visitor center or from the bus driver: NZ$8 for adults, NZ$6 for children, NZ$25 for a family. The double-decker bus leaves from the visitor center at 11am and 1pm and a complete loop of the attractions takes about 2 hours. It operates Wednesday through Sunday all year and daily during summer school holidays (except Dec 25), from December through February.

Liquid Sunshine

Nelson olive oils are rapidly gaining recognition nationally and internationally as some of the best you'll taste anywhere. If you're a fan of dipping, drizzling, and pouring, give in to temptation and visit some of the following. Note: It pays to call first to make sure they're open for direct sales. Moutere Grove, 979 Central Rd., Upper Moutere (tel. 03/543-2232; www.mouteregrove.co.nz), has a free tour and organic olive oil tastings by appointment only. Hau Plains Olive Oil, 543 High St., Motueka (tel. 03/528-6391; www.hauplains.co.nz), is open most days for sales and tastings. Others to look out for are Frog's End Estate, Westdale Road, Richmond (tel. 03/544-0570; www.frogsendoliveoil.co.nz); Tasman Bay Olives, Horton Road, Tasman (tel. 03/540-2084; www.olivesnewzealand.com); and Mount Heslington Olives, 89 Mount Heslington Rd., Brightwater (tel. 03/542-3727; mt.heslington@clear.net.nz).

Especially for Kids

Give the kids a chance to burn off some excess energy at Nelson Fun Park (tel. 03/548-6267), adjacent to Tahunanui Beach, and just a 5-minute drive from Central City. They can unwind on the hydroslide, play miniature golf, or have fun on bumper boats. Natureland Zoo (tel. 03/548-6166; www.naturelandzoo.co.nz) is also at Tahunanui Beach, and open daily from 9:30am to 4pm (last entry 3:45pm). Here, kids get to get up close to wallabies, meerkats, otters, monkeys, and exotic birds; it costs NZ$9 for adults, NZ$4.50 for children 2 to 14, and NZ$23 for families.

Touch the Sea Aquarium, 8 Aranui Rd., Mapua (tel./fax 03/540-3557; www.seatouchaquarium.co.nz), is a charming little aquarium on Mapua Wharf where kids get to put their hands in special tanks to discover the mysteries of sea urchins, starfish, and various shells and fish. It's worth the admission of NZ$8.50 for adults, NZ$5.50 for kids 3 to 15, and NZ$20 for families. Also onsite are a playroom and an excellent gift store.

Six Times the Fun

If you want to try a bit of everything and save money at the same time, check out combo deals with the Nelson Visitor Centre. If you invest in several activities, you'll pay far less, which is a big consideration when you're traveling with a family.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.