Monday, 16 March 2015

Next Stop... Historic Cable Bay

Cable Bay... Not far south of Nelson, turn off SH 6 at Hira, along
8km of windy road to this lovely little camping site at the
historic Cable Station site. Very friendly helpful camp hosts
but no Internet reception... Except at the top of the hill...

 The drive in was windy but easy, as usual when travelling round
the sounds, beautiful views when I had time to look... Here the
tide's out and looking over the bay to the open sea in the distance.

 I squeezed past some road works that were building up and
reinforcing the side of the road that had fallen away...
 And I'm nearly there...

 It's a very tiny camping ground so it pays to book. Can you
see me squeezed in here...

 A nice little play area and very good clean toilets and showers.

 Just past the camp and over this ford which is quite a dip for low 
vehicles is the beach, all very stony... Quite good for swimming...

 The north/west end...

 The boulder bank which you can drive along and connects
to Pepin Island where there is a good hill walk.

 The name Cable Bay commemorates the time when this area
was the New Zealand terminal of the cable that first linked the
colony with the outside world. It was here on Thursday 17th
February, 1876, that the end of the cable which had taken
eleven days to lay across the Tasman Sea was pulled ashore.
Four days later, New Zealand had, for the first time, a direct
link with La Perouse, Sydney, and through Australia with
the United Kingdom.
Becauce a man named Schroder once sailed into this bay
in error, the locality was originnally known as Schroder's
Mistake, but the cable station itself was called Whakapuaka
which was the name given to the area by the Maoris.
The name was changed to Cable Bay in 1926

 The history and what Cable Bay looked like in its hey day.

 It was a large and active settlement comprising Post Office
telegraph staff, the Resident Agent of the Press
Association, and Eastern Extension Cable Company staff, 
and their families. Few visible signs now remain of 
the former Wakapuaka cable station.
In 1909 the Cable Company took over the operation of the 
internal telegraph  link and the Post Office staff and 
Press Association Agent were transferred away from the area. 
The cable station building was destroyed by fire in 1914 then 
the station was moved to the nearby Government mess building. 
The cable station continued to function at Wakapuaka until the
23rd August 1917 when it was closed and the cable 
was lifted and landed on the other side of Cook Strait 
at Titahi Bay, near Wellington

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