Wairau Bar and SS Kennedy Wreck

Wairau Bar and SS Kennedy Wreck

The southeast end of Cloudy Bay is not a typical tourist hotspot. But there are some points of interest, including the Wairau Bar and SS Kennedy shipwreck. To get there, cross the Wairau River behind Spring Creek, off State Highway 1 and north of Blenheim. Turn hard right onto Wairau Bar Road and continue to Wairau Bar. There is a campground at the end of the sealed road. Continue on a short distance towards the river mouth and you will see the wreck on the edge of the bar.

The SS Kennedy operated from 1864 until 1929. It was sunk on the Wairau Bar in 1929 as part of the creation of the breakwater. It actually replaced another ship, the Waverley. This ship had been swept towards the Wairau Lagoons river after being sunk for the same purpose in 1928. You can see the Waverley on the Wairau Lagoons walk.

This really is a remote wild place. You can also access the southeast end of the Cloudy Bay beach from the bar. But it’s windswept, stony and definitely not the place for a swim!

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