Just how many Cable Bay’s are there in New Zealand? I’m sure we have been to at least a couple of them over the years. We have now visited another one – about 30km from Richmond. Our trip took us past the Port of Nelson, and along the waterfront. A couple of the waterfront cafes are still boarded up following storm damage from an earlier storm last month. No sign of a storm today, and the water looked rather peaceful and sparkled in the sun shine.
We were surprised to see quite a large settlement at Cable Bay, as well as a Motor Camp and Café. The beach has a boulder bank connecting to Pepin Island that forms part of the Delaware Cable Bay Estuary. 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.
It was a short drive up and over the hill and on to Delaware Inlet.
Delaware Inlet’s sea grass and cockle beds provides habitat and refuge for juvenile fish, and are important feeding grounds for many shore birds. The banded rail has recently been discovered in this area, and a trapping programme to protect these rare birds is now in place.
On our drive back along Pa Road we came across some “rock art” – quite modern it seems.
Rock Art on Pa Road
Back in Nelson City again (named after Admiral Horatio Nelson) – and did you know that the first game of rugby was played in New Zealand was at Nelson? We decided to head up Botanical Hill – somewhere up there was the “Centre of New Zealand”, the sign read. Maybe not – we didn’t really want an hour’s walk uphill.
The geographical "centre of New Zealand" allegedly lies in Nelson on a hilltop near the centre of the city. This is the point "zero, zero" from which the first trigonometrical surveys were started in the 1870s by John Spence Browning, the Chief Surveyor for Nelson. However, later surveys have shown that when Stewart Island is included, the actual Centre of New Zealand can be found in the Spooners Range in the Golden Downs Forest.
Monument at the top
Although we didn’t make it to the top and actually see the monument, (photo courtesy of the internet) we did get some good views of Nelson Port and City from the hill.