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Nelson On The Cheap - A Guide For Backpackers

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Rebekah Joy
Rebekah Joy

Before Lord of the Rings, New Zealand was cheap...but then WE along with the humble hobbit were discovered and the Cafe Latte culture hit. Now everything is designer this and trendy that. Custard square is gone and so are milkshakes, sausage rolls and lolly cake, in its place posh nosh. Cold pea gazpacho, Grilled fillet of beef with pink peppercorn and mustard butter, Moules Á La Mariniére and a Partridge in a Pear Tree (plus a dictionary to translate it all).

However.........take a gander around Nelson and find a rebellion. Slowly but surely ‘cheap’ is coming back in vogue, Take for example the arrival of Café Zumo on Rutherford Street, not only is the coffee 70 cents cheaper but you can take your own lunch! That’s right, save a bundle and buy a cake at the supermarket to nibble one while you sip you caffeine fix. The Free House at 95 Collingwood Street is also an anomaly. This impressive boutique brewery allows you to bring your own meals while you sup at the never ending range of beers on offer. 263 in the City do a $10 Thai night on Tuesdays and over in Hardy Street, Mango serve up a delicious $5 lunch. Plan B in Alma Lane also have a $10 lunch.

Around the beach is 263 on the Rocks. Collect the supermarket coupons from Countdown to get 2 for 1 coffees. The Mexican restaurant Amigos also sometimes offer 2 for 1 mains on the back of the coupons. Of course if all that is still out of your price range, you can fish off Rocks Road or the city has an impressive ‘open orchard scheme’. Over 500 fruit and nut trees dot the city and surrounds freely available to help yourself. Find out more at:

Now don’t take this all for gospel, times and prices fluctuate greatly, but as of Christmas 2009, Nelson still has some of the cheapest eats out.


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