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Puketitiri area offer opportunities for walks through regenerating forest and clearings. They exist largely through the efforts of a group of local dedicated conservationists.

Place overview


  • Bird and wildlife watching
  • Walking and tramping

In this section

Find things to do Puketitiri area

About track difficulties

Bird watching

Bring your binoculars and look out and listen for tui, bellbird, kereru (NZ native pigeon), waxeye, North Island robin, and other native birds.

If you visit Ball's Clearing at dusk you may well be lucky to spot long-tailed bats leaving their roost.

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    About this place

    History and culture

    Efforts to first conserve native vegetation in this area began in 1918 when Puketitiri resident Frank Hutchinson bought a forest stand to save it from the saws. His friend Guthrie Smith later wrote that this purchase "was not the chance whim of a wealthy man…it was paid for not in coin, but in personal frugalities and self denials."

    Later in 1930 residents petitioned for the preservation of at least one stand of the magnificent forests. This became Ball’s Clearing Scenic Reserve after the colourful local figure Jack Ball, the man who reputedly pulled his own plough.

    Interestingly these earlier pioneering efforts are reflected in many of the local residents' present efforts of reforestation and conservation in this area.

    Heritage trail

    You can follow the Kaweka Heritage Trail, which includes descriptions of places of historical, cultural and scenic interest. Brochures are available at DOC offices and information centres in Hawke's Bay.

    Know before you go

    Several of the Puketitiri Reserves (Ball's Clearing and William Hartree) and the neighbouring Kaweka Forest Park are managed by the Department of Conservation.

    Little Bush is a private reserve owned by the NZ Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society. It is open to the public at all times.

    No fires, dogs or camping are permitted in any of the reserves.

    The Puketitiri area is in the rain shadow of the Kaweka Ranges. Visitors should be prepared for sudden weather changes and high winds.


    Ahuriri / Napier Office
    Phone:   +64 6 834 3111
    Address:   59 Marine Parade
    Napier 4110
    Full office details
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