Cable Bay Holiday Park provides new, clean amenities and camping facilities at the historical Cable Bay Farm just north of Nelson New Zealand.



History of Cable Bay Station


The Farm

Cable Bay Farm is a 1000-hectare coastal, hill country property just 20 minutes north of Nelson. The family have farmed the original Cable Station site since the early 1930's. Ian's parents Fred & Tess Stuart took over the 200 acres Cable Station site after the Second World War and purchased further land when the Whakapuaka 1b block was divided (Ngati Tama land). Then in 1965 they purchased the Cain Estate part of the original Mackay property (the first farm in Nelson).

The property is marginal gorse clad, steep hill country but Ian was able to exploit the deer farming opportunity by capturing wild deer for sale and also goats when those boom times were on. He no longer farms deer but still maintains 650 goats for meat and also gorse control. Eight years ago 200 hectares of land was put into pine forest in a joint partnership venture. Stock numbers were reduced to 1400 breeding ewes, 70 cows they winter 430-ewe hogget's. The change in landuse to subdivison for lifestyle blocks in the Nelson North area has brought more people that add pressure and make traditional farming and forestry much more difficult. A number of other tourist ventures have popped up in the last ten years.

Natural landscape assets on the property

· The northerly coastal aspect of the property provides great scenery from MacKay's Bluff at the Glen to Ataata Point at the mouth of Cable Bay.

· There is a 2 1/2 - 3hr walkway through the property (one-way) administered by DoC that passes through a 120 hectare native QE11 Covenant on the farm. The family was approached by Lands & Survey regarding, public access through the farm over 20 yrs ago. It seemed the way to go as in those days every weekend the phone was red-hot with requests from people wanting to walk the farm track from the Glen to Cable Bay. It has been a very popular walk, closed annually for lambing and calving.

· The beach has a boulder bank connecting to Pepin Island that forms part of the Delaware Cable Bay Estuary. This is very popular to Kayak.


Cable Bay was originally named Schroeders Mistake. Then re-named Cable Bay when the Eastern Extension Telegraph Company laid the first Cable across the Tasman from La Perous near Sydney, arriving here on 21 Feb 1876.

A whole community developed around the Cable Station. In those early days there was no road in and people were often forced to wait on the tide before crossing the river and driving their horse and cart along the side of the estuary.

The press had an official reporter on site. And its said that the more whiskey he drank the better the writing.

There was two tennis courts, a billard room, a boarding house for cadets, blacksmith and a telegraph room where morse code messages were received.

The Cable Station burned down in 1914 and was shifted to Wellington in 1917 when it finally closed. The remaining buildings were shifted to Nelson.


Although the site has been an unofficial camping ground for years doing things properly has brought about a closer working link with local Council we have had to take into consideration effects on the local environment. A good septic system has been a must and providing clean water another important consideration. The biggest challenge will be loosing the quiet life. We are now public servants reliant on keeping our customers happy. But we have always enjoyed sharing the farm, native bush and scenery. Now we hope this latest diversification is the opportunity our family needs to provide a way for the next generation to use the land of their Grandparents and Great Grandparents. Succession has been the motivator.