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Motueka is a town in the Nelson Bays region of New Zealand's South Island that lies close to the Motueka River. Nearby beaches (such as Kaiteriteri Beach and Marahau) are very popular with holidaymakers, and the area around Motueka has one of the country's highest annual sunshine-hour indices. Because of the gorgeous scenery and continual building of swanky clifftop homes by rich incomers, the coastline between Motueka and Marahau has been dubbed the Riviera of the South Island after the famous French Riviera.


The surrounding district has a large, but diminishing, number of orchards, as well as growing a variety of specialised crops such as hops and boysenberries (it used to be the main centre of tobacco growing in New Zealand and some patches survive between police raids, growing for their "own consumption"). A number of small boutique wineries have gained an international reputation.

Motueka, as the nearest town to the Abel Tasman and Kahurangi National Parks, has become the base of many tourism ventures in those parks, as well as in other recreational areas. Extensive limestone cave systems (including Harwoods Hole in the Takaka Hill area north of Motueka) attract cavers and rock climbers. Sea kayaking and tramping now attract many thousands of visitors each year.

Many artists and craftspeople live in the area around Motueka, especially potters and reggae musicians. The Riverside Community, in nearby Lower Moutere is a pacifist international community founded in the 1940s and now New Zealand's oldest co-operative commune.

Get in[edit]

By bus[edit]

Abel Tasman Coachlines provide services between Nelson, Richmond, Mapua, Tasman, Motueka, Kaiteriteri, and Marahau. See their website[dead link] for the timetable.

By car[edit]

Motueka is a 40-minute drive from Nelson, 30-minute drive from Richmond, and 55-minute drive from Takaka.

Get around[edit]

Map of Motueka


  • 1 Motueka District Museum, 140 High St. Dec-Mar M-F 10AM-3PM Su 10AM-2PM Apr-Nov: Tu-F 10AM-3PM Su 10AM-2PM. free.


  • Abel Tasman Skydive, Motueka Airport, 16 College St, +64 3 528-4091. Rated within the top 10 greatest skydive operations in the world, Skydive Abel Tasman is guaranteed to give you an exhilarating skydive to remember. Freefall for either 30, 50 or 70 seconds from 9000, 13,000. or 16,500 feet. Take in the spectacular view of the Abel Tasman National Park as you help guide the parachute or just relax and enjoy the ride. 9,000ft skydive: $249; 13,000ft skydive: $299: 16,500ft skydive: $399.
  • 1 Motueka Saltwater Baths, North St.. Saltwater swimming pool built in 1938 with a park alongside.
  • 2 Riwaka Resurgence. The Riwaka River flows out of a hillside into clear pools. A special spot.


On or just off the main street (SH60) are two large supermarkets; cafes, fast food chains, and restaurants; as well as gift shops, clothing shops and various other shops.

  • 1 The Warehouse, 270 High St.. daily 8AM - 8PM. "red shed" department store


Has a supermarket and a McDonalds fast food outlet with free Wi-Fi.

  • 1 New World, 271 High St. Daily 7:30AM-9PM. supermarket.



  • Equestrian Lodge Motel & Gardens, 2 Avalon Court, +64 3 528-9369. 5-min stroll from the heart of the Motueka township, and an easy walk to the 18-hole golf course. All motel units are open to the beautiful landscaped gardens, complete with a shaded barbecue area and a children's play area.


Go next[edit]

This city travel guide to Motueka is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.