Boulder Bank

  • Wakapuaka
  • Walks & Hikes

Te Pokohiwi (Boulder Bank) is a naturally formed ‘finger’ of boulders that wraps Tahunanui and Nelson City in a tight embrace.

Starting at Glenduan, the arc of boulders curves across Tasman Bay in a south-westerly direction, sheltering the Nelson Harbour from the elements and creating two very different ocean environments on either side of the bank. Over a period of 10,000 years, small rocks have rolled along the seabed, carried by oceanic drift from Mackay Bluffs in the west. Accumulating near the base of Tasman Bay, the 13km long reef and boulder formation is the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.

Indigenous Maori once protected the Nelson Harbour from discovery by early European settlers, using the Boulder Bank as somewhat of a decoy from the land that lay behind. An 8km walk along the rock-strewn bank offers insight into the unique history of this natural landmark, and an opportunity to climb the spiral staircase of the historic lighthouse is not-to-be-missed. Standing proudly near the tip of the bank, the lighthouse balcony looks out over Tasman Bay, Haulashore Island and the man-made ‘cut’ at the entrance to Port Nelson. The key for the lighthouse can be collected from Port Nelson, or as part of a guided tour.

The walk itself takes approximately three hours from Glenduan (one way).

How to get there: You can visit the Boulder Bank on a guided tour with The Ferry or Abel Tasman Sailing Adventures, by private boat or kayak, or you can begin the walk yourself from Boulder Bank Drive near Atawhai.

Photo credits: (1-3)


Boulder Bank

Boulder Bank Drive
7071 Wakapuaka

Visit website