Tāhunanui beach detour from the Great Taste Trail
Tāhunanui Beach is a pleasant summery detour from the Great Taste Trail, about 3km from Nelson Airport.
This beach is hugely popular given it is so close to Nelson City and offers gorgeous views across to several Nelson landmarks and out into Tasman Bay. The shoreline is shallow and relatively warm.
From the Airport, detour past the Nelson Golf Club, to the end of Parker Street, and around the south side of the beach and lagoon on a boardwalk at the water’s edge.
Locals call the west end of the beach ‘back beach’ and ‘dog beach’, where you’ll see dogs of all shapes and sizes having a wonderful time, fetching sticks, and splashing in the shallows. For a dose of happiness, you can sit and just watch them play.
This end of the beach is also a great spot for kitesurfing and surfcasting.
At low tide you can park your bike and walk right out into the bay on the sandspit.
At the other end of the beach is Rocks Road, where you can discover another local favourite haunt – Raglan Roast’s coffee. It’s fast, cheap, and good!
If you’re looking for lunch, the Beach Café is right by the beach behind the sand dunes. The other option is The Deck at Tāhunanui Beach Holiday Park.
From the beach itself you can see Haulashore Island and Fifeshire Rock, as well as the historic Boulder Bank.
People often assume the Boulder Bank was man-made given it’s long, skinny form, sitting conveniently out from the port. But in fact, it is the largest natural reef and boulder formation in the Southern Hemisphere.
In the morning when the water is calm, you will usually see silhouettes of people on their stand-up paddle boards, or SUPs.
For a time, the beach was known as The Sands, until a competition was run in 1902 to suggest a name.
The Māori name Tāhuna was the winning name, but this was later changed to Tāhunanui, which loosely translates to ‘big sandy beach’.