There’s much deliciousness to be enjoyed in beautiful Nelson city, in the sunny Nelson Tasman region. But, just beyond the city limits, and just out of sight, there’s a collection of Tasman settlements with more food delights tucked away. Head out to find the “triple M”s of Mapua, Moutere and Motueka, for memorable mouthfuls.
First stop Mapua…
On the way out of Nelson, seek the first M - Mapua. At the mouth of the vast Waimea Estuary you’ll find the Mapua Wharf, with fantastic eateries, coffee roasters, brewers, local food stores - and of course the kiwi classic of fish and chips (with other smokehouse offerings).
Time for fish and chips on the wharf (or try and fish off the wharf). Collect more from the local stores showcasing local artisan foods for a picnic nearby at the new waterfront park. Think cheese, chocolate, crisps, produce, soda and wine. Tremendous bounty of the area.
Then on to Moutere…
Then on to the second M - Moutere, upper and lower. Here you’ll pull over at orchards and vineyards surrounding the Nelson urban area, including a long-standing special favourite. Summer months present roadside stalls overflowing with pip fruit and fresh produce, strawberries too.
Hidden, but in plain sight, there’s delicious food stores, mushrooms, olives and of course famous New Zealand coffee. So much to sample and enjoy, when you’re out and about, on the move.
And off to Motueka…
A third M is not far away. Off to Motueka.
It’s a seaside town on the western side of Tasman Bay, not far from the entrance to world famous and beautiful Abel Tasman National Park. Pretty clearly, horticulture is the main industry around here, you’ll see evidence of apples, beer hops and kiwifruit. Try to spot all the seasonal workers, especially during late summer and early autumn, for the apple pick.
There’s still beer hops, but no tobacco. Back in the day Motueka was home to two tobacco factories, but that industry’s now gone from the area…time for change.
And there’s a terrific spot to gather food from local cafes, bakeries and food stores for a seaside saltwater pool (swim, if you’re so inclined), and picnic. We’re told there’s been a form of baths here since back in the 1920s, when the beach at Motueka was considered dangerous for bathing - sharks in the bay, believe it or not. So it’s a great sight to see the current baths being used today.
To take away
From the triple M travels, there’s a delicious combination to try - click here for more - we gathered smoked fish pate from Mapua and added to Moutere crisp pears, with favourite proper crisps on the side, for a tasty snack and memorable mouthful back at home base. And, if you’re lucky and able to gather some Neudorf mushrooms from nearby, don’t forget our brilliantly orange saffron milk caps, click here for more on that.
And for more…..
For more on The FoodPath NZ’s handpicked eateries and artisans, for our collection of spot on New Zealand food moments, download our Food Travel Guide here.