Where: Lake Tutira, Hawke’s Bay
Distance & Time: 2 -3 hours
Take: Camera, sturdy shoes, water, sunscreen
Amenities on route: Carpark + information boards at the start of the walk. Basic campground with bathroom. Dairy nearby.
Cost of the walk: Free
I’ve written about the giant icecreams at the Tutira Dairy before (we had one after we walked Bell Rock) but this time I changed it up and had an ice cream prior to walking. In hindsight, not the greatest idea and I wouldn’t recommend it. However, the Lake Tutira track is a good one to do on a beautiful still Hawke’s Bay day, maybe just save the ice cream for after!
And here’s where I admit that I’m still not entirely sure which walk we did and we hadn’t really planned what to do. We just knew there were walks around here so figured we’d come and check them out. We started out by parking just down from the campground and walking most of the Lake Waikopiro Track which then led on to the Table Mountain Track. We passed around the back of a lifestyle block and there were a lot of cows and turkeys to greet us as we started the walk!
The walk started with climbing upwards through farmland and scrub. There was barely any shade so I’d highly recommend making sure you wear a hat and take sunscreen with you to reapply, it gets super hot up there and the last thing you want is a sunburn as your souvenir!
Amy’s Advice – take lots of water and wear a heat/sunscreen. There isn’t much shade on the walk and it can get very hot!
We just kept following the track, thankfully it was fairly well formed so it was easy to follow where to go. Basically we just worked our way up to the ridgeline and hoped we were going the right way. Fortunately, as long as you keep the lake on your left hand side, it’s hard to get lost.
You get an understanding of how large the lake is from up on the ridgeline, and just how incredibly massive Tutira Station was/is. There is a great information board talking about the Station and the history of it which I recommend taking the time to peruse.
Up the top we followed the path to the summit, coming across meandering cows and blackberry bushes full of delicious fruit. Even though the signs said they’d been sprayed I threw caution to the wind and ate a handful and they were good!
We had to cross over a couple of fences but they were well signposted and there were stiles to help us across. So don’t fret and think you’re going somewhere you shouldn’t be. At the trig we turned around and went back down to the summit turnoff. Here we ventured down a farm track that eventually took us back to the campground, passing through some lovely picnic and lookout points on route.
At the campground there were a few people with their tents out, but it was relatively quiet, which I was surprised by. It’s a gorgeous spot but as the lake is generally unsuitable for swimming I can see why people prefer to camp elsewhere. But it’s still a lovely spot for a few nights, especially with the Lake Tutira walks and the Boundary Reserve walks close by.
The photos were taken by Paul + I!
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