Nelson Provincial Museum

The Nelson Provincial Museum is located at Town Acre 445, the same site as the original museum in 1842. Gateway to the region, the museum provides an insight into the natural and human history of Nelson. At its central city location, there are two main gallery spaces featuring permanent and temporary exhibitions, a classroom, museum shop and rooftop garden. Admission to general galleries is free.

The Nelson Provincial Museum ground floor gallery is devoted to local history.  See the street map of the early township drawn on the floor. Various street names can be selected to bring up an audio-visual history of that street. The Museum has used their extensive photographic archive to good effect. Select Hardy Street to relive e the disastrous fire that burnt down the second library building.

Sights to see

Anchor stone outside the provincial museum

Go inside and enjoy a wide range of exhibitions including a ground floor display about early Nelson. View some of their extensive archival photographic collection.

Anchor Stone

The artwork at the front of the Nelson Provincial Museum is the Anchor Stone, which is argillite (pakohe) quarried by early Māori in the Maitai Valley. The markings show it was used to anchor waka close to shore. It was found in the Maitai in the 1970s and installed outside the museum in 2005.


The Nelson Provincial Museum is located at the southwest corner of Hardy and Trafalgar Streets, at Town Acre 445. The museum is open daily.  For more information go to