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The combination of passionate winemakers, gravel threaded Moutere clay soils and plentiful sunshine make for a powerful trio, and are undoubtedly the reason why the Moutere produces some of the most ripe and full-flavoured wine we have ever tasted. Savour the fruity density of these wines at one of the many family owned boutique vineyards, looking out at the picturesque valleys laid before you. Whether the complex, multi-faceted Chardonnay tickles your fancy, or the fine elegance of a Pinot Noir, we guarantee that a visit to some of the Mouteres cellar doors and vineyards will tantalise your tastebuds.
Photo: Wine Nelson
2. Have a beer in New Zealand's oldest pub
Right in the heart of the Moutere, amongst the rolling hills and sloping valleys, you’ll find the oldest pub in New Zealand, still operating from it’s original building. Built in 1850, The Moutere Inn is so deeply rooted (both physically and metaphorically) in the local community that they only serve wines produced within 10km of the Inn, use an array of local ingredients on their menu and serve craft beers made from Nelson Tasman hops. Beer in hand and traditional pub grub in your tummy, what better time to reminisce on the unique history of the Inn and imagine who was sitting in your spot at the bar almost 170 years ago?
Photo: The Moutere Inn
3. Explore the diverse range of art galleries
We like to make things in Nelson Tasman, whether it’s visual arts, ceramics, music or food, and the Moutere Artisans collective is no different, exhibiting art forms of all persuasions across their working studios. Explore the diverse range of art galleries at your own pace, or take a tour with Wine, Art & Wilderness to see the talent, skill and craftsmanship first-hand. Key highlights include Micheal Macmillan Sculptor & Country Homeware, known for his large outdoor sculptures, French oak creations and limited edition bronzes, as well as Bartlett & Gold Gallery; a studio set in a historic house built by German settlers in 1893, showcasing handcrafted clay art and pottery.
4. Taste your way around the region
The Moutere Artisan community have a deep love for, and connection with the stunning natural landscapes that encircle them. The gravel threaded clay soils provide excellent growing conditions for rich, flavoursome fruits, mycorrhizal mushrooms and for harvesting olives. So it’s no surprise to find roadside stalls and boutique stores dotted around the valley, selling local artisan goodies such as sheep cheese, olive oils, chutneys and jams. Top tip: take some time to savour the products of the land, follow the trail, and learn about the passionate artisans that live and work here.
5. Head out on your bike to explore the Moutere
The Upper Moutere offers some extraordinary cycling trips amongst stunning vineyards, apple orchards and hop gardens, over gently rolling hills and flat valleys (confident riders may like to make the more challenging uphill trip from nearby Mapua or from Motueka). For a true Moutere experience, why not gather up some artisan goodies and local produce from the roadside stalls into your bike basket and head to the sprawling green lawn at Neudorf Vineyards? Here you can pair a glass of fine, full-bodied wine with a delicious picnic of sheep cheese, crackers, olives and chutneys.
Photo: Wheelie Fantastic
6. Enjoy lunch amongst the vines
Forsters Restaurant at Moutere Hills Vineyard has undoubtedly earnt an enviable reputation for their delectable cuisine. Nothing quite compares to a long board lunch paired with a selection of delicate, flavoursome wines sourced from the vines that surround you, particularly when the menu heroes and showcases a range of local artisan ingredients. Take a seat on one of the lawn tables and soak up the spectacular vineyard atmosphere as you indulge in a selection of sharing plates, finishing off with the extra-special long board dessert.
Photo: Wine Nelson
7. Stay the night at Kina Beach
An overnight stay at Kina Beach is a must do during your visit to the Moutere, whether you choose to stay at the campground, a private retreat or if a waterfront lodgeoverlooking the Peninsula is more your style. The perfect base to explore the neighbouring townships and national parks, take a moment to truly appreciate the stunning views of the Kahurangi mountain ranges and coastal gardens that surround you. Watch closely as the sun rays retreat and the day turns briskly into night, awakening Nelson City in a glimmering strip of light against the dark sky.
Photo: Kina Retreat
8. Tour the olive groves
An afternoon spent amongst rolling olive groves is an afternoon well spent and Neudorf Olives offer a spectacular walk, talk and taste tour in the Moutere Hills (by booking only). You'll get to enjoy the picturesque views of the countryside and mountain ranges as you take a stroll through the groves, before they share their artisanal secrets with you and take you through the process of turning olives into olive oil. After working up an appetite, an indulgent tasting experience of three varieties of oil, dukkah and olives is sure to satisfy your cravings at the end of the tour. You can even stay overnight at the grove in a luxury private suite.
Photo: Chocolate Dog Studio
9. Cuddle some alpacas
Whilst you're in the Moutere, you won't want to miss out on an opportunity to make some furry friends at Terra Nova Alpacas. Farm visits are available from October through until June, but must be booked in advance. You'll get to enjoy a freshly baked afternoon tea as you spend a couple of hours having a cuppa and a cuddle with a camelid. What's more, if you think you'll find it hard to leave, you can even stay the night in their private farm studio - breakfast included!
Photo: Terra Nova Alpacas
10. Hit a ball at the Tasman Golf Club
Whether you’re a skilled golfer or just fancy a bit of casual fun, you won’t find a more scenic golfing experience than at the Tasman Golf Club. Situated in the Kina Cliffs, the viridescent lawns contrast perfectly with the spectacular blue waters of Tasman Bay. We can’t promise it will be easy to get a hole in one when you are surrounded by such stunning vistas and mountainous ranges, but we can promise that the views are worth the higher number on the score sheet!