Hotels in Motueka (South Island, New Zealand)

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Hotels in Motueka

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Sunny Beaches and Fruitful Orchards in Mesmerizing Motueka

With mainly sunny days and some of the best weather in New Zealand, it is no surprise that Motueka has always been a successful agricultural and horticultural area. The town is home to many orchards and once specialised in tobacco. Now, the town is known for its bear hops, green tea, apples, kiwis, and other fruits. Most recently, vineyards have also sprung up in the area. Travellers often come here to pick their own fruit. Motueka is also the base for visitors to the Abel Tasman and Kahurangi National Parks, both of which are located about 13 miles from the town. There is also a large artistic community here, so stopping by an art gallery during your trip is a must.

The Big and the Beautiful

There are two famous national parks within a short drive of Motueka. Kahurangi National Park is the second largest one in New Zealand, spanning about 1750 square miles. It’s a popular destination for rock climbing, caving, rafting, mountain biking, and, of course, hiking. The Heaphy Track is considered one of the best trails in New Zealand, and features a riverside trail and swinging bridges. It runs just shy of 50 miles long and takes about five days to complete. Right beside the massive Kahurangi lies the incredible Abel Tasman National Park. It is one of the smallest national parks in New Zealand, but what is lacks in size, it makes up in exquisiteness. Situated mainly along the coast, the park boasts many sparkling gold beaches with turquoise waters. The main hiking trail is a coastal path which offers incredible views of the scenery and the sea. Take a stroll up to separation point and you will likely run into a fur seal colony. Alternatively, head to the Tonga Island Marine Reserve to see dolphins and little blue penguins. There are several hotels near the coast, in and near Abel Tasman. You can also book a hotel in downtown Motueka, as most are located near the main road and offer easy access for travelling around.

Beauty and the Beach

A short drive north of Motueka will take you to Kaiteriteri Beach, which was named one of the best beaches in Australasia by Conde Nast magazine. It is no surprise that it has become a popular holiday destination. Further down the coast is the well-known Split Apple Rock, which is located on another lovely public beach. Aside from swimming and sunbathing, the Kaiteriteri are offers plenty of other activities to enjoy. Mini-golfing, snorkelling, and mountain biking is quite popular here. Families can also enjoy a day at the local farm and petting zoo, where kids can take a pony ride. If you’re looking for an alternative to a hotel, you can book a beachfront campground at the Kaiteriteri Recreation Reserve.

The Riwaka Resurgence

The Resurgence is an aquamarine pool enclosed by a marble cave, and is the source of the North branch of the Riwaka River. After your visit, you’ll understand why the location is considered a sacred place by the Te Atiawa and Ngativ Rarua people. It should be at the top of your to-do list on a visit to Motueka. Finding it does not require rigorous hiking. It can be accessed via a short ten-minute trail from a parking lot. Half way to the cave, make sure to stop by the Crystal Pool, which boasts mesmerizing turquoise waters. Bring your suit in the summer so you can dive off the rock ledges or simply enjoy a refreshing dip. There is also a large open park space where you can enjoy a picnic or play some outdoor sports. You can choose to drive or bike here from Motueka. It is located only ten miles away. Make sure to look around on your way there, as you’ll go past some of the area’s blossoming orchards.

Cave Exploring

Another must-do that may require a bit of planning is a visit to the Ngarua Caves. Situated in the Takaka Hill range, close to the summit, the limestone caves are not far from Abel Tasman National Park. Like the Resurgence Cave, Ngarua Caves are also close to the small town of Riwaka, and are only a short drive away from downtown Motueka. Visits may need to be scheduled, depending on the season, as entering the caves requires a tour guide. The visit will take you through a 1000-foot long path where you will see amazing cave formations. You will also get to see a rare display of skeletal remains of the now extinct Moa, a flightless bird that was overhunted in the 1300s.

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