Cable Bay (Rotokura in Maori) is a bay and a small tranquil settlement beside Nelson in New Zealand’s South Island. This tranquil cove, with a unique slice of New Zealand history is the perfect place to visit for a peaceful experience. Although close to Nelson, it feels as though you’re miles away.
The popular Cable Bay walk also starts from this bay. It’s a fabulous two to three hour walk across hilly, private farmland. The track ends at The Glen (Glenduan) and offers fantastic views. Cable Bay Walkway is a popular two to three hour walk across hilly, private farmland between Cable Bay and the neighboring coastal community of Glenduan. The track features a diverse range of terrain and scenery ranging from beautiful coastal views to lush native forest.
Pepin Island lies at the end of the bay’s shingle causeway. A causeway connects Pepin Island with the mainland and the settlement of Cable Bay, Nelson.
Evidence suggests there was a pā on Pepin Island. It was positioned at the end of the causeway joining the island to the mainland. Māori used this bay for fishing and camping. The open sea, sheltered bay, tidal flats and streams provided bountiful supplies of fish. While the forest had a source of birds, fruits and berries.
Cable Bay has a sheltered shingle beach. The thin land connection to Pepin Island, forming the crest of the beach, is the result of a rare combination of currents and a rock source. The area is part of the Cable Bay Recreation Reserve, managed by the New Zealand Department of Conservation. The adjacent marine reserve offers recreational opportunities such as kayaking and snorkeling.
The name Cable Bay arose from New Zealand’s first overseas cable link, to Australia, which started operation in 1876. The international telegraph cable established a connection with the world-wide telegraph network via Sydney. This new service meant communications to Europe only took four days instead of up to six months for letters. Today the connection is for the internet highway.
Cable Bay Attractions & Activities
Cable Bay Walkway
Cable Bay Walkway is a popular walk between Cable Bay and the neighboring coastal community of Glenduan. It features a diverse range of terrain and scenery ranging from beautiful coastal views to lush native forest.
It’s a popular 7km (3-4 hour) walk that starts right the Nest here in Cable Bay and ends up in the neighbouring coastal community of Glenduan. It features a diverse range of terrain and scenery ranging from beautiful coastal views to lush native forest. Parts are steep and a reasonable level of fitness level and sturdy shoes are recommended.
Transportation for the Cable Bay Walkway
The walk can be done in either direction and, unless you want to walk both directions, transportation is required to get from one end back to the other. Cable Bay Nest can provide transportation for our guests. We can pick you up in Glenduan at the end of your walk or, alternatively, drop you off in Glenduan for the start of your walk and you can walk back to your Cable Bay Nest!
Contact us to arrange transportation for the Cable Bay Walkway
The Cable Bay Walkway passes through private farmland and closes annually for lambing 1st August – 10th October. It may also close temporarily during periods of high fire risk. Check the Department of Conservation’s website
for further details.
Pepin Island is located at the end of the shingle causeway. It is named after explorer Jules d’Urville’s wife, Adèle Pépin. Pepin Island is privately owned and access is limited to special public open days.
Kayaking around Cable Bay
Cable Bay is the perfect place for kayaking. Take a paddle out on the bay, explore the coast of Pepin Island, or the large sheltered tidal Wakapuaka estuary is a safe place for beginner kayakers. The Nest can lend you our two kayaks, at no charge- wander down our meandering paths to the water’s edge, and off you go!