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10 Amazing Things to Do in Motueka

Dean McKenzie - Tourism NZ

What to do in Motueka, The fruit bowl of Nelson Tasman.

Located along the Tasman Great Taste Trail, Motueka is a must-stop for foodies and wine-lovers. The rich fertile lands make it a growing hub for fruit and wine in the region. On top of that, this town in the northern Tasman region is a hub for visiting the famous Abel Tasman National Park, finding hidden gems in the Kahurangi National Park and experiencing adventure activities like skydiving and canyoning! See what you could be getting up to with this list of things to do in Motueka.

While you’re here, you might also be interested in 19 Epic Natural Attractions in Golden Bay.

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1. Ride the Great Taste Trail

The Great Taste Trail is a 174km journey between Nelson and Kaiteriteri, with Motueka sitting in the middle as one of the trail highlights. Hire a bike and shuttle service for the day to same the trail from Motueka, or do the entire journey taking in sparkling coastline, picturesque countryside and stopping by the Nelson region art galleries, vineyards and restaurants.

Location: Nelson to Kaiteriteri
Dean McKenzie - Tourism NZ

2. Check out the Sunday Market

Pick up authentic souvenirs, sample local foods and buy fresh produce at the fantastic Motueka Sunday Market. It’s a real Kiwi experience, with live music and lots of street eats to try. Catch it on a Sunday 8am-1pm.

Location: Decks Reserve Carpark, Wallace Street

3. Discover the Riwaka Resurgence

Just outside of Motueka, on the edge of the Kahurangi National Park, follow a short walking trail to where the Riwaka River emerges from under a mountain. The water has been filtering through the karst landscape for many years before emerging crystal clear from the Riwaka Resurgence – a must-see in Motueka!

Location: Riwaka Valley Road, 18.5km northwest of Motueka.

4. Indulge in great food

As a productive fruit-growing region, Motueka is kind of crazy about food. With that in mind, it’s well worth stopping by to try the great little eateries like the Riverside Cafe, TOAD Hall, sweet treats from the Patisserie Royal and many many more!

Location: Motueka town.

5. Play golf in Motueka or Kina Beach

Get into New Zealand’s most popular sport (with the highest participate rate) at one of the spectacular golf courses near Motueka. The Motueka Golf Club is an 18-hole course with fairways of manicured gardens and trees. Alternatively, try the 9-hole Tasman Golf Club atop the Kina Cliffs with stunning ocean views. See more golf courses in 21 Best Golf Courses in New Zealand.

Location: Motueka Golf Club – Harbour Road. Tasman Golf Club – 128 Cliffs Road.

6. Tour the Highlights of Abel Tasman & Golden Bay

Motueka is a great base to explore the stunning Abel Tasman National Park and the hidden gem of Golden Bay. See it all on a tour with Tasman Tours, taking small groups to Kaiteriteri for a boat cruise into the Abel Tasman National Park and stunning Totaranui Beach. You’ll then venture to Takaka, enjoy short walks to lookouts and the crystal clear waters of Te Waikoropupu Springs. You’ll then return to Motueka over the picturesque Takaka Hill.

Location: Pick-up from the Motueka i-SITE.
Tasman Tours

7. Go canyoning in the Abel Tasman National Park

Discover the wild and adventurous part of the Abel Tasman National Park that others rarely get to see with Abel Tasman Canyons. Join the team for their Waterfall Creek adventure where you’ll use river canyons as your playground for abseiling, waterfall sliding, scrambling, climbing and much more!

Location: Pick-up from the Motueka i-SITE.
Abel Tasman Canyons

8. Go on a wine tour

Don’t worry about picking a sober driver when visiting the Nelson wine region with Tasman Tours. Go on a half-day wine tour where you can either pick wineries to visit or let your guide show you at least three boutique wineries or even visit a brewery or art galleries. Explore the wineries of the Waimea Plains and Moutere Hills and sample Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay,  Riesling, Pinot Noir and other varietals.

Location: Pick-up from the Motueka i-SITE.
Tasman Tours

9. Skydive from 16,500ft!

See Motueka and the Abel Tasman National Park from dizzying heights with Skydive Abel Tasman. Feel the ultimate adrenaline rush as you freefall at 200km/h from either 13,000ft or 16,500ft. When your parachute opens, you’ll be able to take in the breathtaking scenery and tick off this epic adventure activity off your New Zealand bucket list.

Location: Motueka Airport. Accommodation pick-ups available.
Skydive Abel Tasman

10. Visit Animal Farm

[UPDATE: Animal Farm is now closed]. For animal-lovers, families and kids-at-heart, don’t miss Animal Farm in the Gardner Valley. Visit New Zealand farm animals and take the kids on farm activities like donkey riding, llama trekking, pony brushing and much more.

Location: 389 Gardner Valley Road, 16km south of Motueka.

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