1 current alert for the Lawrence Road tramping tracks Read details...

30 January 2015: Lotkow Road closed

There has been a dropout along Lotkow Road approximately 500 m past the track up to the Black Birch. Lotkow Road is closed from this point. Do not go beyound the taped off area. This will impact hunters and trampers exiting onto the Lotkow Roadend. Contact the Napier Office +64 6 834 3111 for updated information.


From Lawrence Road take a 2-3 hour walk through Blowhard Bush or to Lotkow Shelter. From the shelter follow the Lotkow Track for another 2-3 hours to Lookout and Donald River.

Track overview

Walking and tramping

Advanced: Tramping track

Dog access

Dogs with a DOC permit only. Contact the relevant DOC office to obtain a permit.

About this track


Kahikatea berries.
Kahikatea berries

From the Lawrence Road end there are a variety of options, for day or overnight trips. Some are round trips and some link with other road ends or access points to the park.

Blowhard Bush

Time: 2 - 3 hr

Near the start of Lawrence Road is Blowhard Bush Reserve. This reserve is owned by the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society and managed by the Hastings/Havelock North Branch. A carpark is located on the left of Lawrence Road, some 500 metres from the main road turnoff.

A network of tracks lead through this interesting remnant of podocarp-broadleaf forest, much of which escaped the fires of last century. Intriguing rock formations of Waitotaran limestone nestle among rimu, miro, kahikatea and fuchsia trees. The rocks and boulders are weathered by water into fascinating shapes and there is a maze of tunnels, passages and caves between them.

There are varying routes which lead to the top of the reserve where there are rewarding views. These routes return to the stream below the carpark and can be negotiated within 2-3 hours. Lowry Lodge, a picnic shelter built by Society members, is located at the southern end of the reserve.

Lawrence Road to Lotkow Shelter

Time: 2 - 3 hr

At the Lawrence roadend, a swingbridge crosses the Tutaekuri River giving access to the track that leads to the Lotkow road end. For day visitors there are two interesting options from here. Cross the bridge and follow the track, which sidles steeply at first, then gently uphill through kanuka forest.

After about 45 minutes the Mackintosh Track turns off to the left and 5 minutes along this track is an open, rocky knoll, an excellent vantage point with views across the Mackintosh Plateau and up the Donald River to the peaks of the main Kaweka Range.

For an alternative route back from Lotkow Road to the Lawrence Shelter, follow the Mackintosh Track, which drops steeply off the ridge for 10 minutes and then descends steadily to the Donald River for 20 minutes.

Follow the Donald River downstream for an hour, to where it joins the Tutaekuri River, about 5 minutes upriver from the Lawrence swingbridge. The walk along the Donald River is unmarked, but access along manuka terraces is not difficult.

Lawrence roadend Loop via Lotkow Track, Lookout and Donald River

Time: 2 - 3 hr

Getting there

Lawrence Road is approximately 70 km from Napier and can be accessed off the Napier/Taihape Road which dissects the southern section of the park.

Nature and conservation

Altitude in the area ranges from about 800 to 1200 metres and the area is exposed apart from the steep river gorges. Two major rivers, Tutaekuri and Ngaruroro emerge from the ranges along the Napier/Taihape Road.

Know before you go


Hawke's Bay Regional Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 6 834 3111
Address:   Conservation House
59 Marine Parade
Napier 4110
Email:   napier@doc.govt.nz
Full office details
Ahuriri / Napier Office
Phone:      +64 6 834 3111
Email:   napier@doc.govt.nz
Full office details
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