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

Important things you need to know:

  1. You must display a valid ticket in all “Pay and Display” car parks even if parking for free.
  2. Parking fees after the first free hour will be at the rate of $2.00 per hour. 
  3. Please be aware that the Pay and Display meters will have two options to choose from (blue buttons).  One is for the free hour option but if you want to stay longer, choose the other option – you still get the first hour free.  Clear instructions are given on the meter screen so please follow them.
  4. You can use a parking permit from any Pay and Display meter in any other parking space. So you can move from one car park to another on the same permit– if there’s time remaining, of course.
  5. Motor bikes and vehicles displaying mobility cards do require a parking permit.
  6. The lollipop style meters don’t issue a ticket to display but do still offer the first hour free.
  7. The Parking Bylaw and fees apply from 8 am Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm on Saturday.
  8. Maximum time limits apply  - check signs and meters for times
  9. Free all day parking is available on the city fringes, and for car-pool permit holders in the city centre.
  10. When parking in the squares, don't park facing oncoming traffic.

Public carparks

Name Charging hours Max. Parking Entrance Spaces Mobility Parks Notes
Buxton Square Carpark 8am - 5pm Mon-Fri
9am - 1pm Saturday
3 hours Bridge St & Collingwood St 329 5 See note 1 below
Millers Acre Carpark 8am - 5pm Mon-Fri
9am - 1pm Saturday
3 hours Halifax St 92 2 See note 2 below
Montgomery Square Carpark 8am - 5pm Mon-Fri
9am - 1pm Saturday
3 hours Bridge St, Hardy and Rutherford St 329 4 See note 3 below
Wakatu Square Carpark 8am - 5pm Mon-Fri
9am - 1pm Saturday
All day (centre parks)
1 hour (edge parks)
Rutherford St & Trafalgar St 145 3 See note 4 below

Note 1: Buxton Square Carpark

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

Note 2: Millers Acre Carpark - entrance off Halifax Street 

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

Note 3: Montgomery Square Carpark

Nelson Saturday Market takes place on Saturday from 6:00am to 1:00pm. If parking in Montgomery over Friday night, please use parks on outer edge. Otherwise Council will organise the removal of your vehicle to an exterior space.

Pay and Display 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.

Note 4: Wakatu Square Carpark

Pay and Display 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 these 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 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.