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Harbour Information

Port Nelson Entry and Departure Restrictions

Maximum Drafts in Channel and at Berth

Maximum drafts are determined by the height of tide on the day concerned and minimum under keel clearance of 10% of draft while in the channel and minimum under keel clearance of 5% of draft while in the berth.

2020 - all months

Vessels less than 130m LOA; may enter or depart at any state of the tide subject to draft and other shipping movements.

Vessels more than 130m LOA; when the tidal range is 2.9m or less, vessels may enter or depart only on the flood tide, i.e. pilot on board from low water to one hour before high water.

Vessels over 130m LOA should contact the Duty Pilot (Direct Dial 64 3 53933 879) to arrange appropriate times for arrival or departure depending on draft, tidal and wind conditions.

Information to assist Masters of ships visiting New Zealand in preparing their voyage plan as required by SOLAS V Regulation 34


The normal duration of the ingoing and outgoing tidal streams is just over six hours but weather conditions may cause this to vary by more than an hour in either case.

In general the streams follow the dredged channels except at the entrance where they flow across the entrance setting to the South when flooding and to the North when ebbing. At the entrance they can attain a rate of two knots at spring tides; in the harbour they may attain a rate of one to two knots. The streams may be weak for a short period at slack water.

Eddies form continually off most berths, clockwise with an ingoing tidal stream and anticlockwise with an outgoing stream. They are caused by solid infill reclamation under the quays.

Tide Tables

Tides 2020

Tides 2021

Mean Tidal Levels:

MHWS: 4.24m MHWN: 3.17m
MLWS: 0.49m MLWN: 1.48m
Spring Range: 3.75m
Neap Range: 1.69m
MSL: 2.35m

Tide Tables