20 - Paremata Flats

The Paremata Reserve was created in 1998 by the Nelson City Council with the support of the Department of Conservation. It protects some important forest remnants, including large specimens of kahikatea and kowhai.


Time: 40 minutes

Area: Cable Bay

Note: Be mindful of electric fences; just down the track on the left is a stile leading to a good swimming spot. Along the walk there are several stiles that give you access to the river.

Start Location: Drive north of Nelson City along State Highway 6 and turn left onto Cable Bay Road. Turn right off Cable Bay Road into Māori Pa Road which leads to Delaware Bay. Continue down Māori Pa Road and just across the bridge you'll find a sign indicating the Paremata Reserve and a parking area. This is the start of the walk.

Download the Paremata Flats map (49KB PDF)

Route directions

From the parking area, carry on down the fence-line. At the curve in the river there is a big stand of pukatea with an access stile over to the river. Continue to follow the fence and take the gate through to the next paddock.

Continue following the fence until you reach another gate (mind the electric fence).

Note: Over the river is the DOC Cable Bay Reserve with some large titoki and pukatea. Go through the gate which leads into a patch of bush with kowhai, totara and kahikatea. In the spring, when the kowhai is in flower, woodpigeons, tui and fantails enjoy the nectar. You might also see herons and spoonbills further out on the mudflats.

You can cross a small stream to walk on down to the estuary. Looking straight out from the estuary is Pepin Island, to the left is Cable Bay and to the right is Bishop's Peninsula and behind it, Delaware Bay.

Retrace your steps to the carpark. Take the opportunity to drive to the end of the public road. You will pass Bishop's Peninsula which is a Māori Reserve, and see the estuary behind Delaware Bay. The bay is named for the famous shipwreck in 1865 where Hūria Mātenga gained fame and a gold watch for her role in rescuing the crew of the brig Delaware.