Carparks and pay-by-plate meters

Nelson City Council offers free parking for the first hour when parked in the city.

  1. You must use a new Pay-by-Plate meter even if parking for free.
  2. Parking fees after the first free hour will be at the rate of $2.00 per hour.
  3. The Parking Bylaw and fees apply from 8 am Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm on Saturday.
  4. Maximum time limits apply - check signs and meters for times
  5. Free all-day parking is available on the city fringes, and for car-pool permit holders in the city centre.
  6. When parking in the squares, don't park facing oncoming traffic.

Motorcycles can park in designated parking spots for free. If a motorcycle parks in a paid car park, then it must pay and abide by the time limits.

We have a couple of guides to help with parking:

PayMyPark App Guide (1.7MB PDF) Parking Meter Guide. (1.8MB PDF)

Pay-by-Plate Parking Meters FAQ

Nelson City Council will be changing the city’s parking meters from 29 June. Here’s some of the most frequently asked questions:

Why is Council changing meters?

Existing meters have limited payment options and paper tickets cost $100,000 a year. New meters are paperless, so create zero waste, and drivers can pay with payWave, the PayMyPark app, and coins.

How does it work?

Simply input your registration number into the meter and pay for your time, there’s no need to return to your car with a paper ticket. Parking wardens determine the validity of your parking via your licence plate number. 

Can I get a receipt?

You can request an email receipt. This option will be displayed on screen when you pay.

How much will parking cost now?

There are no plans to increase parking fees, but to cover bank costs there is a 2% fee for payWave. App charges vary and are described below.

Can I check how much time I have left?

Yes, go to any meter and enter your plate number to find out, or alternatively check on the PayMyPark without returning to your car.

What about the free first hour?

Drivers will still benefit from one hour of free parking, which can be split into four 15 minute periods.

What do I do if I have a motorbike or a vehicle displaying a mobility card?

Drivers with mobility cards still benefit from being able to stay for twice the advertised time limit in P30 and P60 spaces. Display your mobility card as usual, and use the new pay-by-plate meter to pay for parking as described above.

How to use the PayMyPark app

The PayMyPark app allows users to pay for their park using their mobile phone. You can either make a one-off payment with a credit/debit card or pay using stored credit on an account using either a linked credit/debit card or bank account (A2A).

To download the app search “PayMyPark” on the  App Store or Google Play.

Follow the on-screen instructions to set up an account. PayMyPark charge 50c per park to use the App without registering, but this gets much cheaper if you create an account and load stored credit on the app. PayMyPark’s charge for a $20 upload with a card is 8.6% and 6.2% for A2A. This rate decreases on a sliding scale with larger amounts (to a minimum of 3.2%) up to a maximum top-up of $299.

Benefits of a PayMyPark Account

  • Check time remaining on your park remotely
  • No need to pay the 50c fee
  • Extend your park remotely within time limits
  • No need to enter your number plate each time – you can store up to six
  • Start/Stop parking function – park, click ‘start’, then ‘stop’ when you return, and only pay for the time you use

For more information, frequently asked questions or help on using the app, visit PayMyPark.

Public carparks


Charging hours

Max. Parking



Mobility Parks

Buxton Square Carpark

8am - 5pm
9am - 1pm

3 hours

Bridge St & Collingwood St



Pay-by-Plate meters can be found at the Collingwood and Bridge Street entrances and either side of the toilet block. Other facilities include a public toilet.

Millers Acre Carpark

8am - 5pm
9am - 1pm 

3 hours

Halifax St



Pay-by-Plate meters can be found in the centre of the carpark. Other facilities include a public toilet, Information Centre and Bus Depot

Montgomery Square Carpark

8am - 5pm 
9am - 1pm 

3 hours

Bridge St, Hardy and Rutherford St



Nelson Saturday Market takes place on Saturday from 6am to 1pm. If parking in Montgomery over Friday night, please use parks on the outer edge. Otherwise, Council will organise the removal of your vehicle to an exterior space.

Pay-by-Plate meters can be found at the Bridge, Rutherford and Hardy Street entrances as well as either end of the public toilet. Other facilities include a public toilet.

Wakatu Square Carpark

8am - 5pm 
9am - 1pm 

All day (centre parks)
1 hour (edge parks)

Rutherford St & Trafalgar St



Pay-by-Plate meters can be found at the Rutherford Street and Wakatu Lane entrances as well as two in the centre of carpark. Other facilities include a bus depot.

Other locations to park

Alternate parking areas all day at no charge

  • Hathaway Terrace/Trafalgar Park
  • Grove Street
  • Collingwood Street
  • Nile St West
  • Kerr Street
  • Gloucester Street (some restricted parking at Hardy St end)

Reserved areas for licence to occupy long-term car parking

  • Bridge St Car park $78.00 per month plus GST
  • Tasman Street Car park $110.50 plus GST per month

Locations that you cannot use to park

If you park in any of the following areas, you risk being fined and/or having your vehicle towed away. From time to time parking may not be available due to events such as parades.

  • On the right-hand side of the road except in a one-way street.
  • Where it will be in the way of other people using the street.
  • Near a corner, curve, hill, traffic island or intersection, if it will stop other people from seeing along the road.
  • On any footpath.
  • On, or closer than 6 metres to an intersection, unless there are parking spaces or a notice telling you that you can park there.
  • On, or closer than 6 metres to the approach side of a pedestrian crossing.
  • On a marked bus stop or taxi stand or loading zone — goods vehicles only.
  • Closer than 6 metres to a bus stop marked only by a sign.
  • In front of or closer than 1 metre, to a vehicle entrance.
  • Alongside another parked vehicle – ie you must not double park.
  • On broken yellow lines – within 1 metre of the kerb. You may see these near pedestrian crossings, intersections, driveways or narrow roads
  • On, or closer than 0.5 metres, to a fire hydrant, or between the fire hydrant and footpath, unless somebody who can move the vehicle stays with it.