Cable Bay Walkway extends from Glenduan to Cable Bay, north of Nelson City. The hilly coastal track passes through a mix of pasture, pine forest and native forest, and provides impressive views of Tasman Bay and Cable Bay. The walk can be completed in either direction and is best enjoyed if you have someone to pick you up at the other end.
|Length: 7.4 km one way||Time Required: 2 hr 30 min – 3 hr 30 min one way|
|Trail Type: 4WD road/Walking track||Uses: Walking and running|
|Physical Difficulty: Moderate||Primary Direction: Either|
|Max Elevation: 410 m||Dog Access: Dogs are strictly prohibited on Cable Bay Walkway|
|Amenities: There are toilets, but no drinking water sources along the walkway||Seasonal Closure: The walkway closes annually for lambing between Aug 1 and Oct 10 (exact dates may vary; the farm owner will advise dates on signs at each end of the walkway)|
|Length: 7.4 km one way|
|Time Required: 2 hr 30 min – 3 hr 30 min one way|
|Trail Type: 4WD road/Walking track|
|Physical Difficulty: Moderate|
|Uses: Walking and running|
|Primary Direction: Either|
|Max Elevation: 410 m|
|Dog Access: Dogs are strictly prohibited on Cable Bay Walkway|
|Amenities: There are toilets, but no drinking water sources along the walkway|
|Seasonal Closure: The walkway closes annually for lambing between Aug 1 and Oct 10 (exact dates may vary; the farm owner will advise dates on signs at each end of the walkway)|
Cable Bay Walkway can be walked in either direction, but is best enjoyed if you have someone to pick you up at the other end, otherwise you’ll need to return the way you came.
The southern end of the walkway begins at the end of Airlie St, Glenduan. Glenduan is a short deviation off State Highway 6 at Wakapuaka (see Access tab above). The turnoff is 10 km north of central Nelson. Park your car on the roadside next to the beach.
The northern end of the walkway is atCable Bay , where there is a car park at the start of the natural causeway that forms the bay. To reach Cable Bay, head north from Nelson along State Highway 6 over Gentle Annie Saddle and turn left at Cable Bay Road (14 km from central Nelson). Cable Bay is 8 km along the road from the turnoff.
The walkway itself is administered and maintained by DOC, though sections of the land it crosses are part of a working farm. Please be respectful of livestock and property, and leave gates as you found them. The walkway closes annually for lambing between August 1 and October 10 (the exact dates may vary; the farm owner will advise these on signs at each end of the walkway).
At the Glenduan end, the walkway begins at a gate at the end of Airlie St, and heads as a farm track up Waihi Creek gully. Towards the head of the gully the track zig-zags uphill through scrub, to reach a junction. Continue straight if you are doing the Glenduan Lookout Loop, which heads down a spur toward the coast, providing expansive views across Tasman Bay, before winding back down to where you started at Airlie St. Otherwise turn right to continue along Cable Bay Walkway, which climbs a bit further up the ridge to a grassed airstrip at 400 m elevation. Here there is a toilet and seating to rest on and enjoy the impressive views of the Boulder Bank and Tasman Bay.
After the airstrip the track goes through a block of pine forest, and then into native bush, which is a mixture of beech and coastal broadleaf species. There are even nikau maturing in the lush gullies. This area of native bush is protected by QEII National Trust Protected Open Space, and you may be lucky enough to see or hear kererū, tui, fantails and bellbirds, thanks largely to the pest control programme in place.
The track leaves the bush and descends onto open pasture, where there are impressive views down the steep bluffs to the coastline 200 m below. Cable Bay and Pepin island come into view and at Sentinel Hill the track descends steeply down a spur toward Cable Bay. There is a car park and toilet at the Cable Bay end of the walkway.