Motueka is a town in the Tasman region of New Zealand's South Island; the home of 8, 000 people, and the gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park, as well as the Golden Bay region and Kaiteriteri Beach.
This South Island area is noted for it's sunshine and many artist studios. You will find such a variety of mediums that these artists will work with from textiles, stone, glass, pottery, native woods, paua and many other materials providing endless days of wandering around the area. Don't miss the many vinyards and orchards that are so plentiful too. If you are a beer enthusiast, the best hops in the world are grown in the Moutere Valley area and if you're lucky enough to be the during harvest you can participate in the twelve hour shift cutting down the vines for harvest. The World of Wearable Art Museum by the airport in Stoke/Nelson is a must see as the display of cars and over the top outfits that have been created in the past for the WOW Event are fabulous. If you're ready for spending some time in the sun, take a short drive up to Kaiteriteri Beach or travel another 15 minutes to Marahau and take a long walk out on the beach at lowtide. Bring along a lunch and park out on the sandbar to the right just as you enter Marahau. Don't forget to stop and explore the eclectic mix of attractions along the way that include the Flying Fox in Riwaka and the funky settlement at the end of the road in Marahau right at the entrance to Abel Tasman. For a unique dining experience, make a reservation or just stop in at the Riverside Commune to enjoy some unique meals from their own gardens and livestock. Okay, so if you have kids, definitely stop in at Jesters along the coastal highway to feed the eels.
The principal point of entry for Motueka is State Highway 60, which connects to the main road south, SH6, near Nelson. The car takes precedence in this area, with a low population meaning there is little in the way of public transport. As such, visitors may wish to rent a car/van from the numerous rental services available, both in the town and around it. The closest bus service is Intercity, which travels to Richmond from numerous destinations. The closest domestic airport is in Nelson - the Motueka Airport is used for private aircraft and skydiving.
The Abel Tasman National Park is New Zealand's smallest, most accessible park; yet it still offers seaside trails, mountain vistas, and forest treks. If one wishes to spend a night/nights in the park, there are several huts avail, requiring booking from the Department of Conservation website (this is especially important during the busy peak season, around the NZ summer holidays). Kaiteriteri Beach, considered amongst the best in the nation, and the world, is also close to the township. Beyond the natural, Motueka also offers some unique cultural experiences, such as the 'hippie' commune of Riverside; open to visitors on weekdays, the small but vibrant Sunday market, and the local Museum, located on the main thoroughfare and CBD, High St.
For shopping, it is best to travel to the surrounding countryside, or to visit the Sunday Market - every community in the region has artists, musicians, and culinary offerings to offer.
The Motueka township, along with the nearby Moutere valley, has a history of Central European immigration - as such, it is home to many Germans, Austrians, French, Poles, and other Europeans. 'Mot' offers several traditional-style European bakeries, as well as internationally-recognised fast food establishments, near the roundabout end of High St. Other eateries include: Chok Dee, a Thai restaurant, Armadillos, a mixture of classic NZ 'pub' and modern mid-range restaurant, and the Smoking Barrel, a chic bar, cafe, and restaurant.
To sample the wines of the region, follow the Great Taste trail, which takes bikers past some of the area's finest wineries. Alternatively, stop at the Sprig & Fern to try local beers and spirits.