Riuwaka River

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The Riuwaka River, formerly known as the Riwaka River, is located in the Nelson region in the northwest of New Zealand's South Island.[1][2] It flows for 20 kilometres, entering Tasman Bay close to the town of Riwaka, 10 kilometres north of Motueka.

The valleys of the Riuwaka and nearby Takaka River form part of the pass over which the only road between Tasman Bay and Golden Bay runs.

For part of its journey, the river flows underground through limestone caves, returning to the open air at The Riuwaka Resurgence. This spot is popular with both holidaymakers and divers, as the water is always crystal clear, and is very cold even in the heat of mid-summer.[3]

The name of the river was officially altered to Riuwaka River in August 2014,[4] following the Treaty of Waitangi settlements between the Crown and local iwi Ngāti Rārua and Te Atiawa o Te Waka-a-Māui.


  1. ^ "Place name detail: Riuwaka River". New Zealand Gazetteer. Land Information New Zealand. Retrieved 17 March 2018. 
  2. ^ Basher, L.R. "The Motueka and Riwaka Catchments" (PDF). Land Research New Zealand. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "The Riwaka Resurgence". Motueka Online. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "NZGB decisions". Land Information New Zealand. August 2014. Archived from the original on 21 November 2015. Retrieved 7 November 2015. 

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Coordinates: 41°04′S 173°00′E / 41.067°S 173.000°E / -41.067; 173.000