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.
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.