Our favorite Motueka activities
Motueka is one of those places where it’s possible to visualize a holiday in the sun, on the beach, away from the hustle and bustle, just staring at the natural beauty of the western shore on the South Island in New Zealand. At the same time, the Tasman Bay—Te Tai o-Aorere waters glisten on the beach.
Whether you’re a local or a foreigner, Motueka is an inspirational retreat for the senses. Entranced by a landscape where the land embraces pristine emerald and navy shorelines, Motueka offers an escape to anyone.
As the only saltwater baths in the Tasman region, Motueka Saltwater Baths are a rarity and unique experience. A popular pastime destination since the 1920s, the pools are now safely secured from visiting marine life.
The salt baths are perfect for weekend getaways. The park includes barbeque pits, wood decks for sunbathing, and a playground to entertain the little ones. Also available are public facilities and nightlights.
The saltwater baths are a favorite with photographers who capture the setting sun mirrored on the glass-like waters in winter.
Motueka and Tasman Bay provide an opportune viewing moment from above. Flight options fit for any budget allow visitors to explore the panoramic view via daring paragliding adventure, thrilling helicopter rides, adrenaline junkie skydiving, or seaplane excursion.
Skydiving from Abel Tasman is a great way to see the largest natural sandpits and a spectacular yet peaceful journey over the Motueka and Riwaka river delta.
Helitours and scenic flights are perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Whether you opt for the Lord of the Rings tour or the South Island flight, nothing in life prepares you for taking flight in a chopper or plane that brings you closer to the experience.
A Landmark in Time
Janie Seddon Shipwreck is the iconic remains of an internationally famous warship, submarine mining vessel, and a fishing boat that holds the distinguished honor of serving in both world wars and is still the most photographed beach anomaly in New Zealand.
Resting on the shores at Motueka Quay, the Janie Seddon is a beautiful backdrop for any photo op or painting project.
Ngarua Caves are a stunning set of caverns located in the Takaka Hills. Accessible with guided tours, visitors explore stalagmites and stalactites that took thousands of years to form. Also visible is a unique skeleton of an extinct moa.
Dunbar Estates Winery is a perfect escape into a breathing scenic landscape along the Motueka Highway. This boutique winery offers wine tasting tours and accommodations for events and special occasions. Go for the day and explore the olive garden and vineyard that rival a Tuscan landscape.
Explore the pristine waterways surrounding Motueka with a kayak or a sea shuttle to get the most out of your water experience. Sea shuttles can take you on a cruise or ferry you to your next destination at a leisurely pace.
For a more intimate water experience, explore coves and shorelines with a kayak either on a self-guided or guided adventure through the Abel Tasman National Park.
Kiyosato Japanese Gardens are easily accessed from the town center in Motueka and named after twin in Japan. Perfect for an evening walk, this tranquil space is a sanctuary for the mind. In spring, the breathtakingly beautiful cherry blossoms paint the vista in delicate shades of pink.
The garden grounds are ideal for picnics and meditation all year round.
The Motueka Sunday Market is a favorite destination for locals and visitors and is famous for its plethora of delectable goods and artisan crafts. The market has something to please everyone, from organic farm-fresh produce to gourmet cheeses, second-hand garments, and award-winning florists and jewelers.
The Sunday Market is one of several free things to do in Motueka and perhaps the most popular.
Motueka Golf Club earned the prestigious title of New Zealand’s golf club of the year. The club offers a top-notch setting for seasoned and beginner golfers and hosts several open events throughout the season.
Mount Arthur Day Hike with a guide is perhaps the best way to explore this glorious alpine adventure. Located in Kahurangi National Park, accessible by 4-wheel drive, a guide will take clients on single or multiday adventures.
The hike leads through tussock grasslands, navigates steep inclines, and has spectacular views of the Tasman Sea. A 360-degree view accompanies hikers for most of the journey, and the karst landscape is reminiscent of scenes from Lord of the Rings.
Food, Food, and more Food are a favorite with visitors to Motueka. Here’s a few options for those who didn’t get their fill at the Sunday Market. Check out Smoking Barrel Donuts (we had you at donuts) and their lunch menu, or take a self-guided tour and sample a few local delights like the Bloom Cafe, Gourmet Burgers, Ginger Dynamite, or check out this menu of excellent Motueka restaurants.
The Best of All Worlds
Motueka is a great destination for a holiday getaway that the whole family will enjoy. Despite being a smaller town, it has so much to offer while still retaining its charm.
Whether you journey to Motueka with family or as a couple, there’s so many adventures waiting for you to explore.
Motueka welcomes you and can’t wait to see you; stay a while if you can.