Cable Bay Walkway

Cable Bay Walkway - Nelson

Cable Bay Walkway



23 Rankers Reviews

22 Face-to-Face

4 Cable Bay

Your Nature Guide

Marios Gavalas's avatar

Marios Gavalas

Author And Researcher

Nau mai, haere mai

Nau mai, haere mai

I'm Marios, delivering the best of Aotearoa's nature walks to your device.

I've personally walked hundreds of New Zealand's tracks and spent months in libraries uncovering interesting information on New Zealand/Aotearoa. And you'll find a slice of that research on this page - enjoy!


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Views into Cable Bay
Views towards Nelson and the Waimea Plains
On the way to the walk at Cable Bay


Approx 11 km one-way | 3 hours 30 minutes one-way

Superb coastal views over entire Tasman Bay, a working farm and a good swimming beach at the end.

A one way walk between Cable Bay and the Glen. Both start points begin with a steep climb. Then enjoy fantastic views as you walk high above the coast. The walk is mainly through farmland but includes a section of native bush. If you want a to experience a short section, we recommend you drive to Cable Bay and you choose the short, steep walk to the lookout point which takes around 45 minutes return.


The track is closed from 1st August to 6th October for lambing.

There is no shade, so it can be a stinker on a hot summer’s day.


13km north of Nelson along SH6 towards Picton, turn left into Cable Bay Road.

It is 8 km further to the beach at Cable Bay, where there is a parking area and toilets.

The track concludes at the Glen. 10 km north of Nelson turn left into Glen Road.

Continue 800m through Seafield Terrace, Athol Street and on to Airlie Street.

The track is signposted from the end of Airlie St.


From Cable Bay the track climbs steeply, following the marker poles over the open pasture.

The high point is at 250m on Sentinel Hill.

Along the tops, there are some welcome shady glades in regenerating broadleaf forest.

There’s a section of pine trees before exiting into open pastures again near the airpstrip.

On the descent to Glenduan, the track splits. Right follows the spur, while left is in a more secluded gully.


The steep cliffs of Mackay Bluff below the walkway are the source material for Nelson’s Boulder Bank. The currents of Tasman Bay erode the base of the clip and then send the rocks on a conveyor belt along the bank. At 13 km this is one of the longest spits in the world. It has formed since the demise of the last Ice Age around 10,000 years ago.

Views stretch over Tasman Bay to Abel Tasman National
Park and the Mount Arthur Range in Kahurangi National Park.

European History

Nearby Delaware Bay takes its name from the wreck of the coastal trader Delaware in 1863.

When the first telegraph cable was laid from Sydney in 1876, Cable Bay was the terminus.


Feature Value Info


DOC Nelson/Tasman

Central government organisation


South IslandNelson RegionCable Bay


  • Walking
  • Free


Showing 13 reviews of 17.

Roland Hänni's avatar

Roland Hänni

Ranking: 6/10

Nice views from two lookouts and thats about it. Long and steep walking on farmland, and not much to see in forest.
As we had very strong winds, it was quite creepy walking through forest along many fallen trees and expecting the next one to break :-(
Would not recommend it under these conditions

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Nina Feulner's avatar

Nina Feulner


Ranking: 9/10

Very steep tramping track. Nice views from above make it worth it!

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in January 2017

Florian's avatar



Ranking: 10/10

Very steep walk from Cable Bay. It was worth the sweat as the view over the turquoise ocean are stunning and the forests beautiful.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in January 2017

Jessica Pein's avatar

Jessica Pein


Ranking: 9/10

Lovely walk up the hill with a great view. The shortest option is approximately 30-45 minutes up and 20 minutes down. There is no real path as it is just up the hill with some sheep and cows.

Reviewed over 5 years ago and experienced in October 2016

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Juergen Becker's avatar

Juergen Becker


Ranking: 7/10

Nice view over the bay and the island. Beware of the sheep and cows - they look hungry.

Reviewed over 5 years ago and experienced in March 2016

Arthur's avatar



Ranking: 7/10

A lovely walk that goes through mountains and a very nice forest and ends at a beautiful lookout.

Reviewed almost 6 years ago and experienced in March 2016

Janina's avatar



Ranking: 8/10

The walk to the Cable Bay takes around two hours one way and goes over very steep hills. It has some fantastic lookouts over the ocean.

Reviewed almost 6 years ago and experienced in March 2016

Sandrine's avatar


Ranking: 8/10

Very good walk, the scenery is amazing. Be aware that the walk is not as easy as classified on the DOC website.

Reviewed over 6 years ago

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Daniel Kueuzberger's avatar

Daniel Kueuzberger


Ranking: 9/10

Very nice place and not so busy.

Reviewed over 7 years ago and experienced in January 2015

Marieke's avatar



Ranking: 8/10

Pretty steep climb among sheep and other cattle. Wonderful sunset on top of hill and stunning view of Tasman Bay.

Reviewed over 9 years ago

Martyn Kool's avatar

Martyn Kool


Ranking: 9/10

Great panorama on top of hill. Unique experience so far.

Reviewed over 9 years ago

Zoe Nash's avatar

Zoe Nash

New Zealand

Ranking: 9/10

Gorgeous stoney beach, lovely walk to lookout and a great little cafe which serves first class food and wine. (And they make an excellent coffee).

Reviewed over 11 years ago

Beale Klingenberg's avatar

Beale Klingenberg

United States

Ranking: 8/10

Very steep from Cable Bay, recommend hiking boots to get downhill, nothing else! Great views!

Reviewed over 11 years ago

DOC Managed

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Cymen Crick's avatar

Cymen Crick

Rankers Owner