Motueka

From Academic Kids

Motueka is a town in the South Island of New Zealand. It is located close to the mouth of the Motueka River, on the western shore of Tasman Bay. It is, after Nelson and Richmond, the third largest centre in the region, with a population of around 6000.

The surrounding district has extensive orchards, as well as growing a variety of specialised crops such as hops. It was formerly the main centre of tobacco growing in New Zealand. A number of small vineyards have developed in recent years, one (Neudorf) gaining an international reputation.

Nearby beaches (such as Kaiteriteri Beach and Marahau) are very popular with holidaymakers, and the area around Motueka has one of the country's highest annual sunshine hour indices.

It is one of the nearest towns to the Abel Tasman and Kahurangi National Parks, and has become the base of many tourism ventures in those parks, as well as Nelson Lakes National Park, and other recreational areas. Extensive limstone cave systems (including Harwood Hole in the Takaka Hill area north of Motueka) attract cavers and rock climbers. Sea kayaking and tramping now attract many thousands of visitors each year.

The area around Motueka is the home of many artists, especially potters. The nearby Riverside Community is a pacifist intentional community. Founded in the 1940's, it is NZ's oldest cooperative living community.

The name Motueka, or more correctly Motuweka, is Maori, and means weka island, the weka being a small bird of the rail family.

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