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Motueka

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The town of Motueka in the South Island of New Zealand lies close to the mouth of the Motueka River, on the western shore of Tasman Bay. It is, after Richmond, the second largest centre in the Tasman Region, with a population of 7125 (2006 census). The Motueka Ward had an estimated population of 10,900 at 30 June 2009.The surrounding district has a number of orchards, as well as growing a variety of specialised crops such as hops, and formerly serving as 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.Motueka, as one of the nearest towns to the Abel Tasman and Kahurangi National Parks, has become the base of many tourism ventures in those parks, as well as in Nelson Lakes National Park, and in other recreational areas. Extensive limestone 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.
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