skip to Main Content

Cable Bay history, landscape and wildlife

Cable Bay is a 20-minute scenic drive from Nelson, about 8kms from the SH.1 turnoff.

Named Rotokura by local Maori, the beach faces westward hence the translation of ‘Red light over water’. The area comprises Cable and Delaware Bays separated by Pepin Island with the Wakapuaka estuary in behind. Cable Bay beach is a natural boulder barrier to the sea and the rugged coastline is part of the Nelson mineral belt. These old igneous formations weathered by the sea form an intricate labyrinth of caves, corridors and islets navigable only by kayak.

Cable Bay in the history books

The area is historically significant with evidence of pre-European activity through wahi tapu (sacred) sites and in more recent times became renown as the scene of the heroic rescue of crew of the Brig Delaware by local Maori.
Cable Bay is also famous for it’s part to play in connecting New Zealand to the world, through the terminus of the first overseas communications link, Sydney to New Zealand.

Read more about the history of Cable Bay on our mates website, Cable Bay Holiday Park.

About Pepin Island

Pepin Island is privately-owned and is connected to the mainland by a land strip that sees Cable Bay Beach on one side, and a marine reserve on the other. The intricate labyrinth of caves, corridors and islets also provide an ideal habitat for nesting sea birds, Spotted Cormorants, White Fronted Terns, Black Backed Gulls, Little Blue Penguins. A haul out for the Southern Fur seal as well as a wide variety of fish and sea life in the clear kelp rich water.

The estuary has its own eco system with shellfish and seaweed providing food and habitat for a wide range of waders and cormorants.

For those wishing to stay a while and savour this idyllic patch of paradise,
here are some local accommodation and activity providers:

Cable Bay Holiday Park

Discover Cable Bay Holiday Park’s idyllic coastal environment, situated on the historic Cable Station site. It is a small, clean and friendly, ‘off the beaten track’ experience, just 2 mins stroll to the beach and surrounding walks.

Peak View Retreat

Peak View Retreat is a luxurious mountain top retreat, set amidst 150 acres of native bush in a spectacular wilderness location. Architecturally designed, the property was crafted from native timbers taken from the land and milled on site. The unique design of the home, enables uninterrupted 360 degree views of the surrounding landscape.

Pepin Island

Imagine soaking it up whilst surrounded by the magnificient views of the Tasman Bay, native bush and the spectacular landscape of a New Zealand sheep station. A true getaway experience.

Check out the other activities you can do in and around Cable Bay

Cable Bay has a lot to offer from the world famous Skywire – the world longest flying fox, to quad biking and mountain biking or try the Archery Dragon Hunt and then why not test your skills at the Shooting range. Check out our local operators who offer these amazing experiences, Cable Bay is a one stop shop for fun and adventure.

Back To Top