The term Motueka literally translates to ‘The Island of Weka,’ the home of native bird, Weka. This sea-side town is one of the most important agricultural hubs of the country. The production of fruits and green tea brings Motueka a huge portion of its income. For the proximity of the important sites like Kahurangi National Park and Abel Tasman National Park, this town attracts a huge number of local and foreign travelers. Located very closer to the Tasman Bay, this small, lively city possesses a unique vibe. This lovely city also nourishes arts and artists. Once the main tobacco producing town, it still gets very busy during the months of harvest. The beaches of the town are also impressive, offering you an adventure of a lifetime. Read on to discover the things you just have to do to make the most of your vacation in Motueka.
1. Enjoy a swim at Kaiteriteri Beach
Located around a 15 minute drive away from the Motueka city, the Kaiteriteri Beach is well-known for its golden sand and crystal clear water. Kaiteriteri Beach is a favorite beach of South Islanders. This beach is an excellent place for lazing out in the sun or swimming in the beach. The Kaiteriteri Beach resides on the way to Abel Tasman National Park, so you can visit this beach en route. Also, try the excellent seafood along this beach.
Address: 5 Kaiteriteri-Sandy Bay Rd, Kaiteriteri 0932, New Zealand
Website: Kaiteriteri Tourism
2. Taking a dip in the Saltwater Baths of Motueka
The saltwater baths are large pools with concrete walls and wings. These are mainly extensions of the sea with sand bottoms. The pools are mainly filled with the water of the tide, and ideal for a safe dip. The saltwater baths were originally created to avoid sharks in the sea. The chance for lavish swim, with all the modern facilities like changing rooms and toilets, is on the offer if you want a bath away from the beaches. After a dip in the saltwater bath, take a leisurely walk through Motueka Walkways.
The Saltwater Baths, Motueka
Address: North St, Motueka 7120, New Zealand
3. Take a walk through Motueka sandpit and Motueka River delta
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Along with the saltwater baths and the amazing beaches, the Motueka River is another attraction of this small city. A visit to the Motueka River Delta is mandatory for all visitors. The Motueka River Delta is formed in the junction of Motueka and Riwaka Rivers. Motueka sandpit is the part of the Motueka River Delta, which is famous for its wide varieties of birds. The whole River Delta has formed a walking trail where you can enjoy the Shellfish, along with various native birds like ruddy turnstones, godwits, dotterels, oystercatchers, gulls, and terns. After a refreshing walk, enjoy the all around view from the Motueka sandpit.
Motueka River Delta
Address: Motueka Valley Hwy, Motueka 7096, New Zealand
Website: Motueka River Delta
4. Motueka District Museum: for digging the history
After enjoying the beach, pools and nature trails, if you are hungry for the history of this city, the Motueka District Museum is the best option. This museum is set in a historic building, which was also the old high school building of the city. The Motueka District Museum gives an excellent glimpse of the history of tobacco, the wars, and taonga. Along with the history, you will also get a glimpse of the regional artifacts at this museum.
Motueka District Museum
Address: 140 High St, Motueka 7120, New Zealand
Website: Motueka District Museum
5. A weekend trip at Motueka Sunday Market
There is no better way to start a Sunday at Motueka than visiting the Sunday market. The market commences from 8 am and continues till 1 pm. In the Sunday market, you will find locally handcrafted products like clothes, jewelry, and artifacts. Second-hand goods can also be found here of a huge quantity. Along with the products, opt for the fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, produced in this region. If you are hungry, there’s a selection of fast foods in the market, along with freshly brewed coffee.
Motueka Sunday Market
Address: Decks Reserve Carpark, Motueka 7120, New Zealand
Website: Motueka Sunday Market](http://motuekasundaymarket.co.nz/)
6. Skating through Motueka Skate Park
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The Motueka Skate Park provides you some great adventure in motion. The park has various kinds of skate ramps where you can practice skating. The park is not huge, yet there are a lot of options for every level of skating experiences.
Motueka Skate Park
Address: 40 Old Wharf Rd, Motueka 7120, New Zealand
7. Hiking or kayaking at the Abel Tasman National Park
Motueka city is the gateway of the Abel Tasman National Park. Abel Tasman National Park is the smallest national park of the country, and hiking through the forest is easy and enjoyable. This national park is attached to the long coastline, so along with hiking in the forest, you can enjoy kayaking, snorkeling or sun-bathing on the beach. Enjoy the walk at the coastal walking track along the forest, or just enjoy a day lazing on the beach.
Abel Tasman National Park
Address: South Island 7183, New Zealand
Website: Abel Tasman National Park
8. Visit the Ngarua Cave, the limestone caves of Abel Tasman National Park
The limestone caves located on Takaka Hill are called Ngarua Caves. They are located in the southern part of the Abel Tasman National Park. Varieties of stalagmites and stalactites are on display inside the caves, as well as the skeleton of the ancient bird Moa. A walk though the Marble mountain named Takaka Hill will take you to this cave, to experience the unique structures of the cave and to know more about the extinct bird, Moa.
Address: Main Road, Takaha Hills, SH 60, Motueka, New Zealand
Website: Ngarua Cave
9. Stay and enjoy the night at Golden Bay along Takaka Hill
If your dose of Abel Tasman National Park is not completed with a day trip from Motueka, then consider a short stay at Golden Bay along the Takaka Hill. The golden bay is mostly famous for its sandpits and amazing scenery. Explore the golden beaches along the bay and the alpine valleys. While staying here, have a taste of the Kiwi hospitality in this region. The bird-lovers can visit the bird sanctuary to have a diverse and fulfilling experience.
Website: Golden Bay
10. Mountain biking through Kahurangi National Park
The second largest national park in New Zealand offers large varieties of marble mountains, wild rivers, coastal forests, palm covered beaches and many more wonders of nature. Whereas there are walking trails to enjoy the palm forests near the coast, so to cover a larger area, you can try mountain biking. The Heaphy Track used to be the ‘Great Walk’ which is nowadays a bike trail, which you can take during May to September. This track offers you a glimpse of the subtropical rainforest, valley of the river and coastal region of the ‘treasured possession,’ which signifies Kahurangi in the Maori language.
Kahurangi National Park, Heaphy Track
Address: Dry Road, Karamea, New Zealand
The relaxing, yet thrilling Motueka
Motueka is relaxing on one side, very thrilling on the other side. After the trips to the national parks and enjoying the beaches, you can be real tired. So, don’t return from a trip to Motueka without relaxing and tasting the local foods along with the finest wines of the South Island.
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