Restoring coastal habitats

Nelson City has a beautiful and diverse coastline with splendid remnants of coastal forest remaining in isolated patches. Some of our coastal areas, such as the Boulder Bank and the Waimea Inlet, are recognised as being of international significance.

Cable Bay

Cable Bay

Nelson Nature aims to achieve healthy, functioning estuaries and coastal margins. We will do this by working in collaboration with the Department of Conservation, private landowners and other interested parties to ensure that pest plants and animals are controlled. Coastal margins will be managed to account for sea level rise and sites of existing coastal vegetation and habitat will be protected, restored and enhanced.

Significant Coastal Sites

Boulder Bank

The Nelson Boulder Bank stretches 13 kilometres from MacKay Bluff to the Cut in Nelson’s harbour. It once included Haulashore Island which became isolated after the Cut was made in 1903 to enable the development of Nelson Port.

The Boulder Bank is a unique and unusual landform, comprised of a rock known as granodiorite which comes from MacKay Bluff. The process which formed the Boulder Bank is still up for debate; while longshore drift is the most accepted hypothesis, long term studies indicate that there is insufficient wave activity to move the boulders to where they now sit.

Waimea Inlet

The Waimea Inlet is a natural treasure shared by residents of both Nelson and the Tasman District. It is the largest enclosed estuary in the South Island with an area of 3455 hectares and a coastline of five kilometres.

The inlet is internationally significant as home to migratory bird species including endangered and threatened species such as the bar tailed godwit, the banded rail, and the white heron. There are also rare plants such as the grey salt bush.

Nelson City Council is a partner organisation in the Waimea Inlet Strategy. Read more about this strategy.

Tahunanui Back Beach

Back Beach Beetle

Back Beach Beetle

At Tahunanui Back Beach, you can enjoy a coastal environment containing examples of duneland habitat. Back Beach is of particular significance as the home of the rare Back Beach beetle, until recently only ever recorded at  Tahunanui Back Beach. A second sighting (2018) of this beetle at Delaware Inlet is currently being investigated.

Check out our Back Beach Beetle video and animation.

Learn about the Tahunanui and Back Beach walk.