Staying in a family home lets you experience the New Zealand way of life. As the only private English school in Nelson we have a wide range of homes within walking and biking distance of the school. Nelson English Centre homestay families are warm-hearted, proud Nelson locals who enjoy welcoming visitors from other cultures.

Your Homestay Family

Our homestays are comfortable, with enough space, and a desk to study at in your bedroom. Three meals are provided at weekends, and breakfast and dinner Monday to Friday. You will improve your English because our families love talking and sharing their lifestyle with you. New Zealand is an outdoor-loving country and many families enjoy gardening, cycling, walking or boating.

Families Selected for You

For over twenty years we have worked to select and improve our range of families. Our experienced homestay coordinator Mrs Viv Marshall has high expectations. Her benchmark is: ‘If my children were overseas, would I like them to stay here’ Viv matches students with families that share their interests by communicating with students and agents at the point of booking. Our system gives you the best possible homestay experience


Nelson is one of New Zealand’s oldest cities with a rich culture, vibrant cafes and welcoming tree lined streets. The English school is opposite the historic Nelson Cathedral and is an easy two-minute walk from the shops, bars, banks and restaurants of Trafalgar street. Students enjoy how easy it is to mix and speak with local people and practice their English. Homestays are just a short walk or bike ride away. Life in Nelson is convenient and lively without big city hassles.

If you are serious about experiencing New Zealand culture and getting maximum practice in speaking English, then Nelson is the perfect choice for you.

Everything You Want

Within 1 kilometre of school you can:

  • Sit on the grassy banks of the Maitai River
  • Get to know and chat to local people, shopkeepers and staff
  • Enjoy the famous produce from the Nelson Saturday market
  • Access a 20km network of walkways on the Grampians Hills
  • Enjoy lunch in the sun, sitting on the Cathedral steps.
  • Get a large variety of international, affordable food from Hardy Street
  • Find out the history of Nelson and New Zealand at the Nelson Museum
  • Improve your English with a movie at the eight screen Nelson Cinema
  • Walk 10 minutes to the Nelson Harbour and Yachting Marina
  • See a band at Sprig and Fern English pub or at one of the numerous other bars in Nelson
  • Catch a small Fish off Nelson wharf – or sometimes a spectacular large, edible one

Around the City

Within 5km of the school you can:

  • Cycle an easy ride through New Zealand native bush in the Maitai Valley
  • Access exciting single trail downhill MTB rides from the famous Dun trail
  • Wet your feet in the wet sand of Tahuna beach at sunset
  • Walk further up the Grampians to the Nelson TV tower and Bishopdale native bush
  • Access the network of native bush trails in the Brook Waimarama Bird Sanctuary
  • Play golf at Tahuna or Maitai golf courses
  • Kayak or paddle board at Tahuna Beach
  • Play volleyball, or have beach BBQ at Tahuna Beach
  • Walk the beautiful Rocks Road
  • Have a special meal out with a close friend at the Boatshed
  • See a NZ band at the Boathouse on Rocks Road

Nelson has backpackers, flats and apartments of a high standard. They are within walking distance so no buses are required. These options are affordable for students on a budget. We have information on various backpackers, flats and apartments, however bookings are made independent of the school.


Nelson is on the main backpacker route through New Zealand so has an excellent range of charming backpackers.

Please check their website for contact details, prices and availability. 

Accents on the Park

Tasman Bay Backpackers

The Palace Backpackers

YHA Hostel

The Green Monkey

The Custom House

Hampden House

Hampden House is owned by one of our homestay families and offers excellent accommodation 20 minutes walk from Nelson English Centre. This popular accommodation is fully-furnished including:

  • Clean, sunny and comfortable living areas
  • Secure lockable rooms.
  • Cooking facilities.
  • Washing facilities
  • Smoke free environment.
  • Short and long term accommodation. 

If you would like more information please visit their website or contact Deborah by email

Flats and Apartments

There are many affordable flats within walking distance of the school in Nelson. Lower room costs and no need for buses mean that a budget-minded student can save $75 to $100 per week flatting in Nelson instead of in a large city.

If you are wishing to stay in a flat when you are in Nelson we recommend that you book into some short term accommodation first (backpackers or book in for 2 weeks homestay). 

Flat finding websites:

Trade Me


Nikau Apartments