Tūtira Regional Park
About Tūtira Regional Park
Nestled under steep, dramatic hills between Napier and Wairoa is Tūtira Regional Park, bordering twin lakes - Tūtira and Waikopiro. The park has an important function as a sustainable land use demonstration area and many of the trees were planted by school students, community groups, organisations, and HBRC staff volunteers.
It is also managed for recreation. In particular it is a handy camping base for exploring Tūtira-Maungaharuru district's many adventure and recreation opportunities - Boundary Stream Mainland Island and Shine Falls, Lake Opouahi scenic reserve, Tangoio Falls scenic reserve and White Pine Bush are all nearby.
Across the lake is the historic Guthrie-Smith Trust homestead, education centre and an arboretum of 30,000 trees which is open to the public during summer, November to May ($10 cash per adult).
Where is Tūtira Regional Park?
Tūtira Regional Park is alongside State Highway 2, 41km north of Napier and 77 km south of Wairoa. Access is through the gates, through the DOC wildlife reserve, across the causeway between the two lakes and follow the track until the marked gate entrance to the park. Camping entry to the right. See Google map below.
- Picnic Areas and Tables
- Composting Toilets
- Fresh Water
- Camping Area
- Walks and Tracks
There are 4 walking and hiking trails so you can explore the park and its splendid views. These are mostly suitable for rambling and most levels of fitness, although the Great View Walk is to the top of the hill and includes some steeper climbs (you can walk out from this walk to Ridgemount Road if you have organised transport from that end). New track markers are now installed.
Before you go
- Sparse cellphone coverage
- No dogs, cats or fires please
- Periodic algal blooms and duck itch - lakes not recommended for swimming (see below)
- Please take your rubbish away with you
- Lock your vehicle and take valuables with you
- Camp fee of $5 per person.
Want to know more about Tūtira Regional Park?
Tūtira Regional Park is part of a developing tourism area of the Tūtira-Maungahururu district which local people are promoting as a great adventure recreation area. From here explore:
- Boundary Stream Mainland Island and Shine Falls
- Lake Opouahi scenic reserve and kiwi crèche
- Waipatiki Beach and scenic reserve
- Tangoio Falls scenic reserve and White Pine Bush
- The Guthrie Smith Trust Aboretum - open to the public during summer, November to May.
Erosion control & forestry trial - The park has an erosion control and sustainable land management programme in place managed by HBRC. Many of the trees in the park have been planted by community groups, school groups and HBRC staff volunteers. Since 2012 a manuka block has been planted in partnership with Comvita NZ Ltd to assess the viability of producing valuable UMF manuka honey as a sustainable land use on steep east coast hill country. Farmers and beekeepers are welcome to contact HBRC's land management team to arrange to view the plantation and learn about progress.
Camping - Camping is available for short term only in a flat, fenced and tree-lined paddock area that is suitable for tents, campervans, caravans. Compost toilets and cold water taps only (no kitchen or showers). Tūtira Store a few kilometres north on SH2 has supplies. Please take away your own rubbish. Koha/donations of $5 per adult per night donation would be appreciated to help with operating costs for the toilet blocks and water supply. Donation boxes are located by the toilet near the main road and by the big sign on the eastern lake side.
Swimming/boating - As algal blooms can affect human health, when they are present (generally summer) the lake water is not suitable for swimming, boating or fishing. Please take note of signs posted around the lake about water quality.
Hydrilla Eradication - The lake is in a long term programme (Ministry of Primary Industries funded) to eradicate the plant pest hydrilla by using grass carp to forage the plant. The plant is now almost gone from the lake, and native milfoils are returning.
- HBRC and NIWA have a monitoring buoy on the main lake above one of the deeper holes (42m) for a long term study of the lake. The buoy measures dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll, water temperature and turbidity. The data is automatically updated to this website and you can check it here.
Algal blooms - The buoy data is an essential part of a programme investigating the causes of algal blooms which regularly impact the lake in summer. Algae is naturally present in fresh water but in certain conditions there's a population explosion which turn the lake water green. Hawke's Bay Regional Council is working with the lake bed owner, Maungaharuru Tangitu Trust, and other organisations on solutions to the algal bloom problem. Other brown blooms are caused by microscopic animals called dinoflagellates, which are harmless.
Weather - We also have a webcam at Lake Tutura - so if you want to see how the weather's looking or what the lake is doing check that out here.
Park History - find out more about the history of the the park in this book - A Short History of Tūtira Country Park by Garth Eyles, written in 2014. Hard copies of this book are available at HBRC.