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Nelson Historical Society Journal, Volume 2, Issue 6, April 1973

The Boulder Bank

page 18

The Boulder Bank

The Boulder Bank which encloses Nelson Haven is about eight or nine miles long beginning at the Glen and reaching a point only a short distance from Tahunanui. The hill near Mackay's Bluff, and also that on Pepin Island, is largely made up of syenite outcrops and as the bluffs erode this hard form of rock, it falls into the sea. The north westerly currents and storms carry the rocks along wearing them smooth and rounded in the process, and the width of the bank has continued to grow.

From the hills above Mackays Bluff one can look right across to the north-west and see in the distance the hills near Puponga, and also Mt. Burnett near Collingwood.

Near the Glen there was a Maori camp site and it was said that both soil and stones found there were identified as having come from Riwaka. Most of the land inside the Boulder Bank was very swampy and when one considers these swamps and mudflats it is easy to believe that the Maoris preferred to travel to Wakatu (Nelson) by canoe rather than follow the longer tracks which had to go round the hills.

James Mackay attempted to drain some of the swamps but found no satisfactory way of getting an outlet through the Boulder Bank.

When the New Zealand Company surveyors were working in the area they drove a pipe on the flat near the mouth of the Glen and the land north of this point became the Native Reserve.