Kumara Coastal Strip
This is a relaxing, easy 1 - 1½ hour walk that offers some good native bush and great, restful coastal views.
Whether you're walking or cycling, be aware that the track is shared, so respect other users. But I've both walked and cycled this many times and rarely came across more than one or two other users on any one trip. If you're walking a dog, please keep it on a leash as the birdlife here must never be disturbed.
If you're walking, leave your car at the Raumanuka Scenic Reserve at the end of Staples Street and start the walk by going left at the Raumanuka Scenic Reserve and following the track around this small peninsula.
There are a lot of native plantings through here, mostly organised and achieved by the Keep Motueka Beautiful Committee, working in association with DOC and the Tasman District Council.
The Raumanuka site has in the past been used as a rubbish dump and had lost nearly all its original vegetation. The Raumanukas Restoration Project, led by Beth and Tony, have run working bees for some time, aiming to restore the area to its original state.
The reserve is a popular place for viewing a wide range of birds that use the Moon Creek Estuary. It is also a very important historic site. Iwi have lived, gardened and navigated this waterway for many hundreds of years. More recently, the first European settlers landed here.
You'll come across a plaque that commemorates the landing of those first settlers. This area was also vital to local Maori for food gathering. The whole area is ecologically important - it has extensive areas of rush land and salt marsh where whitebait spawn. It's rich in shellfish and a major feeding area for wading birds – up to 10,000 feed or roost on the sand spit over summer.
When you get back to the sign where you started, continue straight ahead. Again you can see evidence of the dedication of Keep Motueka Beautiful in the form of paths and further plantings.
As you continue along you can admire the beautiful views: to your left the sandbars with driftwood, shells and birdlife; beyond to the open sea of Tasman Bay and D’Urville Island beyond; and on your right past the farmland to the Arthur Ranges.
Break off to wander on the shore of the various inlets. If the tide is in (as in the photos below), look for crabs and watch the fast-changing shoreline. After meandering along the track for a while you come across a white seat dedicated to Thomas Milton, a tireless community worker. It’s a great spot for a rest.
Further along you pass alongside the golf course on your right, and through a lovely stand of pine forest, with some nice sandy areas to sit beside the water (or mud, if the tide's out).
As you emerge from this foreshore walk, take the right turn at Harbour Road and follow alongside the golf course. At the end of this road turn right again into Thorp Street and make your way back to Staples Street. Turn right heading to the reserve where you started to complete the walk.
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