Lake Tutira is an idyllic place to have a picnic or pitch a tent. Hike the walkway or see how many bird species you can count.
Set amidst a large country park between Napier and Wairoa, Lake Tutira is a wildlife refuge that's popular for camping and picnics. Memorable for its weeping willows and prolific bird life, the lake was declared a bird sanctuary in 1929 at the instigation of Scottish farmer/author/ornithologist William Herbert Guthrie-Smith, who once farmed neighbouring Tutira Station. Birdlife at the lake includes scaup, grey ducks, black swans, little white-throated shags, black shags, white-face herons, pukeko, fantails, New Zealand wood pigeons, swallows and kingfishers - just to name a few. There is good swimming in the lake and excellent trout fishing where a stream flows into its northern reaches. For centuries Maori seasonally lived by Lake Tutira and you can see the remains of six pa sites. The Tutira Walkway, which takes around five hours to complete, ascends to the Table Mountain trig station for stunning views over Hawke's Bay. The Tutira Walkway is closed for lambing from 1 August until 30 September. Shelters, picnic and toilet facilities are available at the lake.