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'Holiday Park' handle means what it says as Motueka attractions blossom

May 27, 2011
'Holiday Park' handle means what it says as Motueka attractions blossom

It was bound to happen. Motueka is out of the bag. Just a few years ago it was the poor neighbour of Nelson home to hops and other crops, a sleepy outpost with a muddy foreshore and low-rent high street. But now it is reaping the rewards of its irrefutably rich location.

Motueka in New Zealand's South Island is close to the mouth of the Motueka River. It follows Nelson (50Km away) and Richmond (35km) as the third biggest centre in the Tasman Region.

Abel Tasman, Kahurangi and Nelson Lakes National Parks are on its doorstep. Kaiteriteris golden beach is just 15 minutes (13km) to its north and the clean river has world class trout fishing. Those are just a few of its highlights.

The town centre of Mot has blossomed. It reaches fever pitch in the middle of summer, but it does a decent bustle all year round. There are plenty of places to eat and drink, along with a small museum, and an interesting community art gallery.

The Sunday market is not to be missed, especially Doriss legendary bratwurst wagon and possibly New Zealands best sausage sandwich. It's on 8am - 1pm every Sunday, rain or shine, in the carpark behind the Visitor Information Centre.

Kaiteriteri Beach and Marahau are popular with holidaymakers as the area has one of the New Zealand's highest annual sunshine-hour indices.

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.

Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, says a number of small vineyards have developed in recent years, one (Neudorf) gaining an international reputation.

Limestone cave systems including Harwood Hole in the Takaka Hill area are to the north of Motueka. Tramping and sea kayaking are also among attractions. There is a strong artistic community, particularly potters and reggae musicians.

The Motueka Top 10 Holiday Park is a kilometre from the centre of town, yet the atmosphere is quiet and leafy. The site was originally known as Fearons Bush, a piece of native bush gifted to the citizens by Captain Edward Fearon way back in the mid-eighteenth century.

Jumping Pillow Bouncing fun (Bennett & Slater) 1692
Jumping Pillow Bouncing fun (Bennett Slater) 1692

His legacy lives on in the many grand old native trees that stand guardian over grounds, including the towering kahikatea that make the holiday park feel as tall as it is wide.

And no doubt the Captain would be heartened by the interpretative panels that identify the many treasure trees and birds to be found.

Between the trees, lawns dominate, in a camping area populated by tents and small vans.

The sites are relatively roomy 180 in all accessed by low-key driveways that avoid that severe tarmac feel. Around the rear perimeter, a 9m high hedge provides a verdant backdrop, privacy and ample shade.

The communal facilities are excellent, including the kitchen area which is a campers dream, being modern, well-designed, clean and air-conditioned. Upstairs is a large lounge which doubles as a movie room great for diverting the kids for an hour or two.

Blending well into the complex, most of the built accommodation is less than 10 years old and offers practical, inexpensive options for groups up to eight.

There are motel units of various sizes, as well as cabins with and without kitchens. In the colder months when there are less campers around, these accommodation options really come into their own: a nice warm place to stay that is kind to the wallet, with the grounds to yourself and a hot spa pool to boot.

During the Christmas holidays the Mot Top 10 was in full swing, especially around the swimming pool where there was much frolicking. In a quieter corner, a clutch of children got to grips with giant chess, while others had a bounce-off on the Jumping Pillow.

Your  move - Giant chess. - Mot Top 10
Your move - Giant chess. - Mot Top 10

This is a whole load of happy times, rolled into one. But in no way is this place an accident.

The owners have camping in the blood Jeanette grew up in holiday parks, her parents owned and managed various parks around New Zealand.

Co-owner and husband Steve has the look of a man who gets things done, and has a quick smile and wit that is essential when dealing with 46,000 visitors each year.

This cheer also extends to the Top 10s popular hand-picked tour of the local wineries and visit to ye olde Moutere Inn one of the countrys oldest boozers for a pint or two of Kiwi craft beer.

Well, hats off to Jeanette and Steve and the rest of their crew, because seldom do the words holiday and park go so well together.

Whether inside the gates our outside of them, the Motueka Top 10 offers the whole, relaxing package.

Things to do in the Tasman region:

Paddle into the park in a sea kayak.

Walk the scenic bush tracks.

Swim, Surf, Dive.

Try you luck fishing.

Enjoy the local seafood and produce.

Wilsons Abel Tasman sightseeing tours.

Skydive Abel Tasman.

The Sea Kayak Company.

Tasman Sky Adventures - microlight flights.

Sea Limousines

Kaiteriteri seal swim.

Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park.

Arts and Crafts.

Nelson attractions and things to see and do include:

World of Wearable Arts and Classic Cars Museum.

Bead Gallery - World Class selection of beads and components.

Craft Habitat Art Centre.

Founders Historic Park.

Hoglund Art Glass.

Natureland Zoological Park.

The Suter Art Gallery.

Vertical Limits - Indoor Climbing Center.

Abel Tasman National Park.

Happy Valley Adventures.

Kiwi Kayaks.


Motueka Wine Tours.

Nelson Cathedral.

Reach for mile high sky adventures
Tasman Sky Adventures at Motueka Airport is the only company in New Zealand which offers hang gliding from a mile high. They use the latest tandem aero-towing techniques with the tandem hang-glider towed into the air by a specially designed tow-plane called a 'tug'. Unlike hill launching, aero-towing allows their professional pilots to take passengers as high as they want.Their pilots are certified by the New Zealand Hang Gliding and Paragliding association. The tandem gliders have heavy-duty landing gear and quality cocoon harnesses to ensure safety and comfort. Tasman Sky Adventures specialise in tandem hang gliding, and scenic microlight flights.

Silkwood and Kahikatea shade the park. (Bennett & Slater) 1708
Silkwood and Kahikatea shade the park. (Bennett Slater) 1708

The Nelson Tasman region will host three international rugby teams during Rugby World Cup 2011 in September. Rugby enthusiasts can spend some time learning about why Nelson is the birthplace of Rugby in New Zealand and attend the re-created first Rugby game at the original ground before the first international game Italy vs Russia on 20 September.

The following week switch up the focus to support the Italy vs USA game on 27 September, just a few days later, Australia vs Russia on 1 October.

Editors Note: GoSee thanks Fergus Brown CEO of Holiday Accommodation Parks Association of New Zealand (HAPNZ) for providing the basis of this free Information Article for the benefit of GoSeers.

Smart  new cabin - Mot Top 10
Smart new cabin - Mot Top 10
Take it easy. (Bennett & Slater) 1705
Take it easy. (Bennett Slater) 1705
Park Lounge view. (Bennett & Slater) 1722
Park Lounge view. (Bennett Slater) 1722
Cool dip on a hot day -Mot Top 10
Cool dip on a hot day -Mot Top 10
Your  move - Giant chess. - Mot Top 10
Your move - Giant chess. - Mot Top 10