Local Attractions

Motueka is a blessed town. 

With the dual treasures of a bayside setting that is arced by a protective mountain range.
This arrangement makes the area Mediterranean in its warm and sunny climate. The soil is fertile. The seafood is fresh and wonderful.

All the benefits of a small town matched with facilities usually found in much larger population centres. 

A great choice of cafes and restaurants, 2 cinemas, 2 supermarkets and a department store, a wonderful range of local shops.  Good banking and postal services. 
And 5 or more nitespots! Dance and live music.
Set in a stunning landscape with the top end of the Southern Alps pointing to the Bayside. Orchards and vineyards.  Take a water taxi from Kaiteriteri and go see
Try a picnic somewhere along the river.
Park up near the aerodrome with some food and watch the skydivers land
Just walking around town, its a charming place, the views in all the streets are terrific.

Excellent cafes - do a crawl - go to a different one each day for breakfast or lunch or a coffee
Pubs - Mussell Inn [in Riwaka], Irish Pub

Here is my pick of what you might like to do and see when in town. 
There is plenty available to suit all budgets, tastes and ages.
Most of these venues are walking distance from The Mot House

* * * * * * *


Toad Hall Cafe

A truly great welcome to Motueka - at the roundabout as soon as you enter town from Nelson direction.
Turn left into driveway just past the roundabout where you see the big colourful signboards inviting you in to one of Motueka's true gems.
Real fruit ice cream all year round, warm soups and meals in winter, great coffees, teas, juices, wonderful food, a great shop for local and organic goods with good prices.
Noticeboard, great atmosphere and the newly extended summerhouse outside has a fire in winter, views all around to the sculpture garden and greenery, comfie couch. Beautifully handcrafted wooden chilldrens playground.
Once  you've tried it - you'll be back again and again. For an icecream, coffee and cake, or a full meal.
A truly relaxing inviting and wonderful local experience and a great place to meetup anytime.

The Gecko foyer

Check out our very own GECKO CINEMA, an experience like few others.
Go for the ambience and the great Hokey-Pokey ice-creams
and stay for the mix of arthouse and mainstream films.
Find it right in town across the road and down the lane from the Motueka iSite and opposite the new Sprig and Fern pub, bringing an earthy touch of class to town.

There is also a local STATE CINEMA in the sports complex
at the other end of town.
A great complex for a town the size of Mot for the latest blockbusters. There's a skating rink there too!

Hot Mamas cafe in Motueka

is the place for some good quality
yummy food and colourful relaxed atmosphere.

It's one of the older cafes in town and sometimes has live music.
Has changed hands a few times over recent years going from locaL historic artist cafe to tiki bar to funky house and now family friendly but still rocking out place.

"If you are after a friendly welcome and easy going cafe fare, this is a great place. If you want to experience restaurant dining, remember this is a cafe-bar not a restaurant, and it really comes into its own in the evenings at the weekends, when live bands and local djs provide an excellent atmosphere for making new friends and having a great night out, courtesy of the excellent new owners Bryce and Louise, who make sure that everyone is welcome."

Shells from Mot Museum collection


Also highly recommended is a trip to the local
Motueka Museum.
It's an enlightening pleasure to see the Maori, historic, environmental and quaint, with stories of colourful figures and artefacts to prove it!
The best $2 you'll donate all summer - except for the buskers of course!


Mot Sunday Market

If you love markets Mot's won't disappoint you. Whichever entry point you choose there will be local, in-season food,
great friendly service, clothing, jewellery, handcrafted wood and metal, fresh locally caught fish in season, cafe, wood-fired pizza, german knackwurst and more, the institution that is the Mot markets side-show alley in a stall - where you can try your luck for a dollar or two, maybe win something, and sample the unique vocal character of its owner - you can't miss him! And try not to miss the great coffee sold out of the back of a station wagon - delicious range, professionally made in front of you, high demand, served with a quirky sense of humour and a broad smile and maybe a marshmallow or other treat!

So head down to Motueka Sunday growers market in the carpark behind the shops on main street, ask someone! Next to the large park and playground, and Japanese Gardens.
For fresh produce, local arts and crafts, buskers, coffee and goss under the umbrellas and Mot's famous blue skies, as you smell the pizza, hear the buskers, taste the locally grown and made goodies, watch the world go by.

It may not be your thing, but we had Jake Prebble (NZs number 2 champion last time I looked) stay at the house for a while before it became a holiday let. He turned me on to the skill and agility and physical awesomeness of these young men - its like ballet on wheels. They are masters of the physical world - balancing their centre of gravity at high speeds and daring themselves to go further. Jake's Mum has been there making the videos for a few years now.
Head to the track at . . . for a free show of great skill if you are there at the right moment.


Organic apples        Riversdie

Head out of town along Victoria Street - worth a visit in itself to see the shops and potteries, rural views, etc
Riverside is worth the drive - just to pick up some fresh produce from their gardens on the table out front.
The cafe is an experience of art and culture, interesting interior design features, chill spots in the garden or on the porch in the sun/shade, alternative lifestylers, great food, good with kids, nice outdoor areas, funky indoor areas. Take a drive out through the community lands to the roadways towards Mariri for some drop-dead gorgeous views of the estuary and island and beyond. Or walk there past the paddocks, sheep, cows, orchards, etc. Look for events at the community too - visiting guest speakers, etc


Te Awhina Marae

Before arriving in NZ I found out about Matariki due to an interest in astrophysics and culture.
I first became aware of the Marae through a music course they were running. And then by being there for the annual music show and cultural events they run. And then out of interest in the culture and finding out what a marae is.
Recommended - see local papers or get in touch with them to see if you can be there for the next Powhiri or event.
Just take a walk on down there to see what it is in the first instance - a very short and scenic walk rural walk from the house.Follow your curiosity! Then you can try out learning the language - start here


If you are game you can jump. Or just pull the garden bench at The Mot House around by the weeping cherry and grab a coffee or drink and watch the little Noddy plane fly up and a few minutes later see who can see the little black dots where the excited scream is coming from off in the distance up high there in the sky somewhere. See it get closer and closer then the colours open out - 6 at a time sometimes 10 or 12 - and there you are - a voyeurs pleasure, Or you can drive or cycle or walk around to the airport and see them landing. It's a great spectacle.

Street Music paid for by Council, or some impromptu


More . . . a bit of Bridge Diving (not recommended!) and other goings on around Mot




* * * * * * *


"Mot" is the local's pet name for our town, Motueka (pronounced moor-too-ekka), a Maori word for this lush fertile coastal plain,  meaning "many trees".  More local secrets are:

  • the saltwater baths,  and the bayside boardwalk near the golf course
  • bakeries!!! say no more . . .
  • excellent fresh fish from our 2 fish shops

  • trawling for treasures through our antique and recycled goodies shops

  • vineyard day trips 

  • gorgeous golf club location
  • Saturday Nelson arts and craft market if you feel like the drive

  • Mot is perfect for cycling as it is very flat.And try to get out to the Mot Quay to see the shipwreck, the views across the vast bay towards Nelson, and for a wander along the bayside boardwalk.

  • And this is only a short list of what this area has to offer


  • New for Summer 2009/2010
    The Mot House will team up with local
    tourism providers to bring you discounted rates for your activities, meals and entertainment during your holiday.