Momorangi Bay

This bay is a very popular site, especially in the warmer months where it is visited by a combination of tourists and holiday makers enjoying the Department of Conservation (DOC) campsite.

The bay has a large combination of facilities, Including boat ramp and wharf.

The bay is sheltered in southerly winds but is open to winds from the west and to the north.

The bay has a large number of consented moorings spread throughout the bay.

There is a launching ramp on the western side of the bay.



Facility photos

QCS MomorangiBay Restaurant 02 QCS MomorangiBay ToiletBlock 13 QCS MomorangiBay 36 QCS MomorangiBay ToiletBlock 05 QCS MomorangiBay PicnicTable 03

Videos / other media


Momorangi means 'myriad of descendants from the heavens' or ‘the off-spring of heaven’. 1

A succession of Māori, most probably hapū (subtribes) of Te Ātiawa, lived in the bay prior to European arrival. The area was used for food gathering and temporary settlement. The bay may also have been used as a school for children from the nearby pā at Ngakuta Bay.2 

Due to significant earthworks in the twentieth century no evidence of this occupation now exists. 

Momorangi Bay also has a history of farming and most of the slopes were in grassland from the 1860s onwards. Repeated burning was required to keep the scrub (manuka and kanuka) under control.

Three tents in Momorangi Bay with four men outside.

Bushmen's camp at Momorangi, 1907. Courtesy, Picton Historical Society.

Farming ceased in 1954 when the hillslopes were gazetted for a scenic reserve. At a similar time, the flat ground in the bay was turned into a recreation reserve. This area has since become a popular picnic spot with a playground and toilet facilities. The nearby Department of Conservation (DOC) camping ground also has a shop.

Since farming ended in the mid 1950s, the forest has regenerated with predominantly mānuka on the higher slopes and kānuka on the lower slopes. Species such as five finger, māhoe, kāmahi, kōhūhū, rangiora and ponga are present under the canopy but larger forest trees, such as black beech, tōtara and swamp maire are still to regenerate. A significant number of bird species can also be found in the regenerating bush, including pīwakawaka, kererū and tūī. 3


1. W. H. Sherwood Roberts, “Maori Nomenclature: Maori Names of Places in the Provincial District of Marlborough,” Marlborough Express, Volume XXXVII, Issue 210, 5 September 1903, Supplement, accessed January 9, 2018,

2. Marlborough District Council, Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council, “Te Tau Ihu Statutory Acknowledgements 2014”, accessed July 18, 2018, .

3. “Momorangi field trip resource”, Department of Conservation, accessed June 1, 2021, 


Very, especially during summer
Southerly protected, exposed to W to N winds
Shallows to 1 to 1.5m head of bay
Type of beach
Marked Swimming lane (SW side)
Popular with summer tourists / holiday makers as its shallow nature warms the water during summer.
DOC campground has recently been updated with many new facilities
Rocks/reef/sand bank warnings
Busy and very popular, must take care especially during summer
Other information