With no map, we checked at a local restaurant for directions to the Wheelhouse Inn. The owner said “Oh, that’s Ralph and Sally’s place. It’s beautiful. You’ll love it”. And he was so correct.

From when we first moored our car in the anchorage – everything at The Wheelhouse Inn has a nautical theme – the place has a wonderful relaxed feel. Opening the door of the Wheelhouse, a modern self-contained timber-panelled house, panoramic vistas immediately strike. With huge picture windows, the place overlooks Nelson’s Tasman Bay and the narrow deep channel where pilot boats skilfully steer large cargo vessels in and out of port.

Nestling into a tranquil expansive garden of native shrubs and trees, the Wheelhouse is just one of five self-contained multi-level houses and units overlooking Nelson’s Tasman Bay. The Captain’s Quarters, Crows Nest, Chart House Main Deck and Chart House Upper Deck all offer spectacular views and distinctive accommodation.

The Wheelhouse is spotlessly clean, spacious and tastefully appointed for a stay of several days including comfortable lounge area (including large TV, DVD, CD player and high-speed cable internet), outdoor gas BBQ, upstairs main bedroom and downstairs laundry (with dryer). The place is filled with absorbing nautical pictures and maritime knick-knacks including the steering wheel of a large ship that sunk many years ago.

While numerous eating options are simply a matter of strolling down the hill, the full-equipped modern kitchen offers an opportunity to eat in and watch evening envelop the Nelson waterfront. There is even a set of binoculars to watch the maritime entertainment or view the playful tuis enjoy the bloom-laden garden.

Befitting Nelson’s thriving art culture, the Wheelhouse offers handsome handmade pottery coffee cups (and plunger coffee). Ralph is a keen artist himself, his studio turning out quirky kiln-fired glazed seagulls, each with its own unique personality skilfully portrayed by subtle changes to its eyes, beak and stance, many securing a prized fish.

I cannot imagine a better start to the day than watching vibrant orange and burnished gold light the dawn sky slowly illuminating Tasman Bay, all from the comfort of bed. The Wheelhouse is a peaceful place, ideal for a special occasion or for a few days exploring Nelson and neighbouring Abel Tasman National Park.

Bookings and details about The Wheelhouse Inn can be found here.

The Wheelhouse Inn provided a complimentary overnight stay to the author. As always, the content and opinions are mine and are not influenced by the provision of discounted or free services. In this case, I highly recommend The Wheelhouse Inn. It provides highlight luxury accommodation in vibrant Nelson overlooking stunning Tasman Bay.

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Welcome to Travel Wonders
My name is Mark and I’m a keen traveller. In fact, over the last 25 years, I’ve travelled to every continent and over 80 countries. This blog is about the most memorable destinations – the places I regard as the travel wonders of the world. I’m also a keen photographer, and have taken nearly all the photos you’ll see. During my travels, I’ve met some incredible people, seen inspiring places, viewed extraordinary wildlife and scenery and had some amazing experiences, and I’m writing these stories not only to entertain but primarily to inspire others to discover their own travel wonders.
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