Official History

Graphic showing changing shoreline at Tahunanui

Sand dunes on the move

When we consider beaches as permanent features, problems can arise. We build roads, playgrounds and businesses on sand dunes and estuary lands – and in the case of Tahunanui, have established an iconic recreational asset – on places that are actually on the move. 1930 to Present Day Since 1935 it has been possible to […]

Tahunanui Beach Gala, 1 February 1915. Nelson Provincial Museum Collection: C289.

History over the decades

Maori history Maori first settled around the Waimea Inlet over 600 years ago. Successive tribes made their camps and settlements on the coast and islands. One of the oldest of these camps was located near the junction of Bisley Avenue and Rocks Road (then at the edge of the Waimea Inlet). Nestled in sand dunes […]


Geologically young beach

Tahunanui Beach did not exist when Nelson was settled by Europeans. What is now the beach was once mudflat near the edge of the main channel draining the Waimea Inlet. It has taken a mere 100 years for Tahunanui Beach to build, with sands from Tasman Bay. Such is the nature of beaches and coastal […]