Lake Tutira

State Highway 2, Hastings District, Hawkes Bay

Lake Tutira and the Tutira Recreation Reserve is located approximately 50km north of Napier and covers 174 ha.

Lake Tutira is home to an abundance of wildlife and is a popular fishing spot as it is annually filled with Tarawera sourced trout. Boating, kayaking and swimming is also popular however watch for periodic algal blooms and more recently “duck or swimmer’s itch” (caused by a snail-borne parasite) as these are health hazards – please take note of water quality warning signs.

For centuries Maori seasonally lived by Lake Tutira, where you can still see the remains of the six pa sites to this day. The lake was declared a bird sanctuary in 1929 by William Herbert Guthrie-Smith, who was a Scottish farmer and author.  There is an enormous range of birdlife at the lake: scaup, grey ducks, black swans, black shags, white-face herons, fantails – just to name a few.

The park offers picnicking and short-term camping space and there are 5 walking tracks which, at the higher points, provide splendid views across the lake and hill country to the Kaweka Range. For a longer walk, The Tutira Walkway takes around five hours to complete and ascends to the Table Mountain trig station. The Tutira Walkway is closed for lambing from 1 August until 30 September. For a smaller exploration, hit the Waikopiro Loop Track.  This is 1.1km which takes 20 minutes and although short, you will see an abundance of native plants.

Alongside the lake is Tutira Country Park, owned by the Hawke's Bay Regional Council, which has an erosion control, sustainable land management programme in place. The Tutira campsite is a conservation campsite managed by the Department of Conservation and you will find it on the southern end of the lake.

Shelters, picnic and toilet facilities are available at the lake. Non-motorised boats only are permitted on the lake.