This is a pleasant farmland stroll, which experiences views of the lake and some of the work carried out to revegetate the lake shore.
Tracks are closed for lambing during August and September.
Lake Tutira is 45 km north of Napier along SH2. The start of the track is signposted by continuing along the farm road past the far campground.
Following the signposted Kahikanui Track is the least interesting section of the walk. It follows a farm road through pine forest, gently ascending to the junction with Galbraith’s Track (40 minutes).
Follow the signpost left along Galbraith’s Track, which shortly exits the pines and follows the margin between forest and farmland. Lake Tutira is reached after 25 minutes and the track continues above the lakeshore vegetation. Before reaching the campground road, the track crosses an area of vegetation replanting, with flax, kahikatea and ti now recolonising the flats. It is only a short walk beside the lake back to the campground.
In 1882, William Herbert Guthrie-Smith bought the land. As well as his farming duties, Guthrie-Smith was a keen naturalist, talented wildlife photographer, avid botanist and author. In 1911 he published Birds of the Water, Wood and Waste, which was followed in 1921 by his opus magna Tutira: The story of a New Zealand Sheep Station. This included a detailed description of the changes in vegetation due to sheep farming, landscape change, flooding, earthquakes and habitat destruction. His empathy with birds was lived out in his pet kereru, many of whom he nurtured from the station homestead.
The work is now seen as a classic in environmental history, one of the finest and most complete examinations of the minutiae of a particular location. It was far ahead of its time in terms of its attitudes towards conservation and environmentalism. Guthrie-Smith’s attention to detail, fascination with natural history and endearing style of writing have made the book world famous and planted the name ‘Tutira’ into common parlance.
North Island ▷ Hawkes Bay ▷ Tutira
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Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍