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Cable Bay - Glenduan, Nelson

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Cable Bay - GlenduanBeginner - Intermediate

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Trail Information





Tasman and Nelson


Front country - easily accessible


Very hilly

Native bush
Open farmlands
Open ridges/tops

Beginner - Intermediate

3:30 (Slow)
2:30 (Moderate)
1:30 (Fast)



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The Stuart family kindly allow this public walkway on their farm. It is open all year other than during lambing season (around 1st August to 10th October). No dogs permitted at any time, it is a working farm. Please respect the stock and stick to the markers.

The track can be started at either Glenduan, or Cable Bay. This GPS route and description was run from the Cable Bay end and back, with a loop in the middle. It is a public walkway, mostly on farm, with some nice running through native bush. Follow the tall white marker pegs.

It starts with a steep climb, with wonderful views of the sea, tidal estuary, farmland and Pepin Island. The route then follows farm tracks along the top of the ridge line, more fantastic sea views, before plunging down into a native bush reserve, (look out for wekas).

The native bush section is undulating, before a climb up to the airstrip look-out (another toilet here). At this point you veer left onto a 4WD track (connect with this 4WD track either immediately behind the old cattle yards at the airstrip lookout, as per GPS file, or a couple of hundred metres further along/down the hill where you will see a sign).

The 4WD track offers a nice winding downhill through bush, ending at a typically kiwi red woolshed at Glenduan. This is only a km or so above Glenduan beach, should you wish to detour onto tarseal and straight down to the beach. Otherwise follow the markers and signs, and turn right at the woolshed. This takes you over a small creek and up a steep climb, initially on a 4WD track, then up steep open paddocks, with great views of Nelson behind you. This lung-busting climb ends back at the airstrip viewpoint, at which point you continue back to Cable Bay the way you came.

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Features of interest

"Evidence of Māori occupation in the Cable Bay area (Rotokura) dates back to about 1150 AD; the area was a fishing ground and a campsite was maintained there. Delaware Bay, across the estuary, was the site of the main pa. In 1863, the pa occupants heroically rescued the crew of the Delaware during a terrible storm.

Cable Bay was once known as Schroders Mistake, after a Nelson skipper mistook the bay for another and put his boat on the rocks there. The laying of New Zealand's first international telegraph cable gave the bay its modern name. The operation, from Sydney to Cable Bay, took 11 days and transmission began on 21 February 1876. A fire razed the station in 1914 and in 1917 the cable was moved to Titahi Bay, near Wellington"

- from: http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/nelson-tasman/places/nelson-area/things-to-do/tracks/cable-bay-walkway/

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 30%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 70%

Route Data


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  • Access

    Turn off SH6 onto Cable Bay Road (it is sign posted to Cable Bay). Drive down this road until you reach the beach at Cable Bay. Park here. You will see the sign for the start of the Cable Bay Walkway at the far western end of the beach (this is the first part of the beach you will arrive at in your car, there is also a toilet here). The track starts with wooden stairs going up the side of the hill.

    Parking availability and safety is good. You can park just in front of the sign signalling the start of the track, or nearby on the stony beach. There is no public transport.

    22 km

    22 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .

    Keep an eye on the markers, and study the map board at the start of the track.

    Very patchy.

    Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries.

    There is no drinking water on route. There are a couple of stream crossings however drinking from them not recommended.

    The steep grassy climbs and descents can be very slippery after a lot of rain. The ridge line along the top can be exposed to cold winds in poor weather.

    Be respectful of all stock.

  • Post run indulgence

    Cable Bay Cafe
    Cable Bay
    This is the only cafe at Cable Bay, and is only about 100m from the start of the track. It serves great food and coffee in a lovely setting. *note it is closed over winter, and reopens late October.

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