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Kiwi towns

What’s so great about Upper Moutere

  • 2 minutes

@St Paul's Lutheran Community Church Upper Moutere


Upper Moutere there are plenty of things to do. What to take the slow lane to Golden Bay beaches and Farewell Spit. Then Upper Moutere offers time to savour vineyards, visit artist’s studios and soak up the atmosphere of quaint villages. It feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of Nelson, the beaches and the major highway ferries visitors and locals to Motuka.

Archway rock at Wharariki Beach, Golden Bay
Wharariki Beach, Golden Bay


  • Graze, nibble and savour your way around locally crafted artisan producers. Ranging from gourmet cheeses, olive oils and aromatic mushrooms visitors choice is leavened with award winning wineries, cider apple brews and freshly squeezed juices
  • An opportunity to visit studios and workshops where sculptors, ceramic artists, woodworkers are at work.
  • Rolling hills and walks inland Nelson away from the crowded summer beaches
  • The quiet alternative route to Golden Bay, Takaka and Farewell Spit
  • Spend a few days exploring the area from Upper Moutere to Ruby Bay, Tasman Village and Mapua.

The region is home to New Zealand’s oldest pub (Moutere Inn) and weathered timbered buildings. Old rustic buildings are a photographer’s delight. Buildings such as the Old Post Office are now a treasure hunter’s joy with home made jams next to one of a kind woven textiles and indoor plants in earth fired pots.


  • Lutheran church, quaint timber framed nineteenth century building
  • Your platter of local goodies together with a local wine / cider
  • Art studios, take your pick


  • Year round, however, check whether studios are open in the low season. You could be privileged to have the places to yourself.
@St Paul's Lutheran Community Church Upper Moutere
@St Paul's Lutheran Community Church Upper Moutere

Options for sun lovers, the nudist Nelson Sun Club is based in the Moutere Hills.



  • The artists who call the place home have created unique special pieces, permanent reminders of a holiday or trip into the rolling hills of Nelson
  • Apple cider direct from the trees (via vat magic) to the consumer



  • Animal Farm is a modern, interactive, family oriented farm park. With an exciting blend of events, activities and attractions, brought together in a stimulating environment. Friendly, fun, interesting, educational, innovative, Animal Farm is truly unique. Animal Farm is a modern 21st century farm park. Wide open spaces are provided for both animals and customers, with the emphasis on creating an authentic, ethical farm experience
  • Jester House is a whimsical world that is perfect for the whole family. With roam to room in the large garden the large playground, enchanted forest, eel feeding, travelling amusement caravan plus so many hidden treasures it will keep the children happy and busy for ages. And then there is the cafe with its wonderfully handcrafted food. All dishes are made from scratch with food health and happiness in mind. With a seasonally focused menu that also has a great selection for the children. Great coffee..
  • Real fruit ice cream summer roadside stall treat
  • A fascinating collection of original photographs are available for viewing at the Nelson Provincial Museum. Photographer F N Jones 1881 – 1962 is one of New Zealand’s earliest photojournalists. His permanent record of life is invaluable with its views of events, landscapes and people.


  • 163 (source Untitled Moutere Tasman District Council Planning Doc 2018-2028)



  • Who needs a motorway when you can amble among vineyards and art studios.

Every town adds to the richness of things to do and see. For more details about the region check Nelson & Nelson Region nearby attractions and events.


Upper Moutere Village

Maker and role

Photographer: F N Jones (b.1881, d.1962)

Acknowledged as one of New Zealand’s first photojournalists, Jones was nicknamed Pompy as his father had been.

In 1904, he sold 1, 500 prints from the three glass plate negatives he took of the burning of Nelson College. After this, his photography business flourished and he was able to buy land and start a studio.

Jones recorded many Nelson events and made a major contribution to the breadth of the photographic collection, making it unrivalled as a record of a community. He was often seen on a three-legged ladder used to take photographs from above the crowds.

Photography was just one part of Jones’s interesting entrepreneurial activities. He was also a saddler, an inventor, mechanical musical box collector, amusement park owner, show organizer and owned several monkeys!

In 1921, Jones opened Coney Park in Haven Road, with music organs, merry-go-rounds, miniature train rides and other attractions.

When Jones retired in 1933, he began to build Pixietown, animated scenes with wooden, handmade pixies. Pixietown was first shown at Trathen’s shop in Trafalgar Street and others were later staged in Australia, England and America. Pixietowns are remembered by many as large department store attractions. In the downstairs exhibition in the museum you can see an example of his workmanship.

Source Nelson Provincial Museum, collections

Upper Moutere Village

Upper Moutere Village, New Zealand
Upper Moutere Village


Upper Moutere

The area was settled by German immigrants in the 1840’s with winter floods and lack of knowledge about the climate and terrain forcing the majority of new immigrants to relocate to Waimea region. The hardy souls who managed to survive called their new home St Paulidorf or Sarau after a town in Northern Germany. During WWI German names were anglicised and Sarau became Upper Moutere. German immigrants introduced grapes to the area and today many locals are descended from these settlers.

Lower Moutere

Out of the rolling hills is the settlement of Lower Moutere. Located 6km from Motueka and bordering the Moutere Inlet it is a farming area. Lower Moutere is home to the  Riverside community.

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