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Nelson College (age 13 - 18) Nelson


Founded in 1856, Nelson College for Boys has the distinction of being New Zealand’s first ever state school which is why they have harboured the notion of being trail blazers ever since!

Located in beautiful Nelson City (sunshine capital of New Zealand), with its mountains, rivers and beaches close to Abel Tasman and other National Parks, a regional centre that boosts and supports a vibrant arts community, Nelson is an important airline hub, and is the fourth busiest airport in New Zealand. It is close to international airports in Wellington (25 minutes), Christchurch (45 minutes) and Auckland (80 minutes).

Nelson College is situated in a picturesque setting, with excellent facilities for learning, sport, leisure, performing arts, and trades. Twenty two hectares of impressive grounds include playing fields, a pool, two gymnasiums, tennis and fives courts as well as a traditional hall and modern performing arts suite.

Accommodation for boarders is provided for by three boarding houses located on the College grounds, each with their own Housemasters, Matrons and support staff. Houses also have supervisors who assist students with personal study, assignments and examination preparation.

A full range of subjects and options are available for students from Year 9 to Year 13. Students participate in the NCEA assessment programme and many go on to sit for and obtain scholarships. Several subjects at a senior level are provided in conjunction with Nelson College for Girls. Through this close association, combined drama and musical performances and dances are provided at many times throughout the school year.

Student support services include an on-site medical facility, counsellors, careers advisors and mentors from both the College and the local community. Year 13 Leaders give the younger students strong support through the mentoring programme. A unique outdoor education programme is provided at Mataki Lodge, a College-owned property on the border of Nelson Lakes National Park, near Murchison, 120km south of Nelson.

Former students have gone on to be Prime Minister, win the Nobel Prize, be leaders in education, business, academia, science, the church, performing arts and the military service, represent New Zealand in sport and other pursuits, and in several cases, to represent other countries in their chosen fields.

Nelson College has a sound academic tradition and is recognised throughout New Zealand as a leader in boys’ education both in and out of the classroom.

Study at Nelson College

The College offers multiple curriculum pathways tailored for boys. Each year the Curriculum Booklet is published in July and outlines the subjects available, how they are structured into each course of study and where your learning might lead to.

The junior curriculum comprises a broad balanced and comprehensive introduction to secondary education and the national curriculum. While the course content is largely compulsory, there is some flexibility with option courses that allow students to sample areas of interest which could lead on to subject choices in the senior school.

The senior school offers a wide curriculum selection for students to gain credits towards the National Certificate of Education Achievement or NCEA. Students are encouraged to make an informed choice on course selections by considering personal strengths and interests, career options and future study plans along with seeking advice from key staff, family and careers advisors in order to have the best possible outcome.
Nelson College offers NCEA at Levels 1, 2 and 3 as well as University Entrance and NZ Scholarship.

Nelson College offers an extensive co-curricular and sports programme. With over 30 different sports codes to choose from and many performing arts and cultural options our students are encouraged to participate in activities outside of the classroom.

Sports teams usually compete in local competitions with other secondary schools and through sports exchanges. The school holds annual athletics, cross country and swimming sports where inter-house competitions feature prominently. Nelson College has a proud record of achievement in sport at national secondary school level with many students each year earning national titles and/or national representative honours.

Many highlights on the school calendar feature cultural and performing arts events. Several of these productions are held jointly with Nelson for Girls including the annual school musical, Shakespeare Festival and Stage Challenge. The opportunity to become involved is extensive in either performance or behind the scenes.

Private music tuition is available and the college boasts a jazz band, brass band and concert band. The school calendar also includes an annual variety concert, music festival concert and school music exchanges.


NZ$ 15,000 per year tuition fee
NZ$ 13,600 per year boarding+ NZ$ 350 per week holiday accommodation

Extras:    Stationary, Sport Equipment

Please note: Pocket money and personal expenses are not included