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 (walking)|
|Trail Type: 4WD road/Walking track||Physical Difficulty: Moderate|
|Uses: Walking and running||Primary Direction: Either (Return)|
|Max Elevation: 410 m||Dog Access: Dogs are strictly prohibited on Cable Bay Walkway|
Cable Bay Walkway can be walked in either direction, but it 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.
The northern end at Cable Bay begins at the 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 is administered and maintained by DOC. Note that it 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). As the walkway crosses working farmland please be respectful of livestock and property.
At the Glenduan end the walkway splits and forms Glenduan Lookout Loop Track; this is a shorter alternative to Cable Bay Walkway which will allow you to start and finish at Glenduan, whilst still giving you the opportunity to enjoy impressive views of Tasman Bay. Cable Bay Walkway continues off the northern end of the loop track, so you can head in either direction to reach it.
The less-steep of the two options is the 4WD road that heads straight up Waihi Creek gully through farmland. Towards the head of the gully the road zig-zags uphill northward through scrub, then heads west to reach the junction with the other track option. If you are doing the Glenduan Lookout Loop, continue straight at the junction, down a spur that provides you with expansive views across Tasman Bay, before winding back down to the end of Airlie St.
To continue along Cable Bay Walkway, turn right (north) at the junction and continue up the ridge for a short distance 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.