The Motueka Region

Motueka Township

Motueka township is a vibrant, friendly and cosmopolitan town on the western side of the Tasman Bay. The long summer days and mild winters attract many people to the town and a large number then choose to call Motueka home.

Motueka is the Town of the Abel Tasman National Park and you'll find all the amenities you would expect in a larger town, with supermarkets, an extensive array of shops and services, artisans, amazing cafes and the Motueka i-SITE Visitor Centre offering friendly advice on the local area and attractions.

Motueka is the third largest town in the Nelson Province with a population of 8007 and the Tasman District is home to 52,389 (2018 Census).

The climate is one of the best in New Zealand with the average summer temperature at 21.5 degrees centigrade and winter at 12.8. The area has on average 2400 hours of sunshine with 970mm of rainfall. February is the warmest month and July the coldest.

The History of Motueka

Motueka (meaning 'island of bush with Weka') was known for its delightful climate from very early times and this attracted Maori settlement in the area. With the high sunshine hours Motueka was one of the best areas in the South Island to grow the prized kumara, or Maori sweet potato. The conquest by the North Island Chief Te Rauparaha and his forces, of which today's local tribes Ngati Rarua and Te Ati Awa were a part, happened just a few years before Frenchman Dumont D'Urville explored the coastline in 1827. Much of the Abel Tasman National Park coastline still bears names bestowed upon it by D'Urville .

The history of European settlement dates from 1842 when the town was surveyed off.

The town was built on farming and two crops unique to the Motueka District were grown here, tobacco and hops. Tobacco was the mainstay of the economy until the late 1980s. The tobacco crops gave way to apple and kiwifruit orchards and more recently vineyards. Our region is the last in New Zealand growing hops.

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