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I'm Marios, delivering the best of Aotearoa's nature walks to your device.
I've personally walked hundreds of New Zealand's tracks and spent months in libraries uncovering interesting information on New Zealand/Aotearoa. And you'll find a slice of that research on this page - enjoy!
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Robert Cunningham Bruce, after whom the scenic reserve is named, was a pioneer of the district and once represented the area in parliament. A keen naturalist, he was passionate about New Zealand’s flora and fauna and gifted this 30 hectares to the people of New Zealand. Bruce would have turned in his grave had he known the country’s main highway ploughed right through the middle of his reserve. Thankfully it has now been rerouted to give this forest a second chance.
This is a good leg stretcher to break the monotony of SH1.
5.3 km south of Hunterville on SH1, turn into Aldworth Road. Bruce Park Scenic Reserve is signposted shortly after on the right by a locked gate.
Follow the old routing of SH1 and climb the steps to the left after the second gate. The tracks are even and metalled, with only minor undulations. At the meeting of the figure of eight is the RC Bruce Memorial and nearby is the RC Bruce Memorial Gate.
Some sizeable mature podocarps, including kahikatea, matai and rimu occupy the reserve. These tower over and above the understorey of pigeonwood, lancewood and mahoe.
The monument was erected in 1924 and remembers his generosity. It lies near the centre of the reserve and one part of the plaque reads “This park is given to the people of New Zealand and to the residents of this district in particular, in order that they may have before them a beautiful specimen of New Zealand forest life”. Were it not for the foresight of people like Bruce, not even the likes of this remnant would have been saved from the loggers and pastoralists.
The reserve was originally owned by the Aldworth Family, who sold it to the Bruce Estate trustees in 1930. It was gifted to the Crown in 1954.
Central government organisation
North Island ▷ Manawatu - Wanganui ▷ Marton
Su Jung Han
Short walk, beautiful and perfect place.
Well maintained loop track through best example of mature forest on SH1. Needs new interpretive signs. Keep right at first junction to approach central monument.
Nice short track.
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 😍