Boundary Stream area

Image: Shellie Evans | ©


Discover the tallest waterfall in Hawke's Bay, or native forest and birds in an area protected from pests and predators as a 'mainland island'. Explore a limestone landscape or a picturesque lake.

Place overview


  • Toilets
  • Information panels
  • Picnic tables


  • Bird and wildlife watching
  • Kayaking and canoeing
  • Picnicking
  • Walking and tramping

Find things to do and places to stay Boundary Stream area

About this place

Nature and conservation

Boundary Stream is one of a number of mainland islands set up to protect and restore habitats through intensive management of introduced pests.

The forest habitat has substantially improved at Boundary Stream Mainland Island since the nature restoration project began in 1996. 

Many interesting invertebrates including, ghost moth (pūriri moth), peripatus, huhu beetles, and five of New Zealand's 70 wētā  species are found at Boundary Stream.

Three of the bird species previously recorded in the Boundary Stream Scenic Reserve area – piopio (native thrush), North Island bush wren and huia – are now extinct. But birds have flourished since the mainland island project began.


North Island robin were reintroduced in 1998. Robins are now seen throughout Boundary Stream and neighbouring reserves.

A project to reintroduce kiwi (once common in the area) has been in progress since 1998. 

The North Island kōkako reintroduction program began in 2001 with the transfer of 10 wild birds from Te Urewera. Since then numbers have steadily increased. There were 27 birds (12 pairs and 3 single birds) in 2010.

North Island saddleback was introduced to the reserve in September 2004. This was the first attempt to translocate a species that had become extinct on the mainland to a mainland habitat with low predator numbers. Unfortunately this translocation failed, probably through a combination of disease, dispersal and predation. However valuable lessons were learned for any future translocations of saddleback.

Six captive reared kākā were released early in 2013 into the reserve.

In September 2013, 29 yellow crowned kākāriki were translocated from Mana Island and released into Boundary Stream.

Cooks petrel were translocated from Little Barrier Island in March 2013. These 50 birds were placed in artificial burrows within a predator proof enclosure and fed for a short period until fledging. They then departed and some will hopefully return in 4 to 5 years and establish a colony at the site.

Further information

History and culture

Maori history

According to Maori legend, as the Takitimu canoe sailed past, the tohunga threw a papamua (a wooden carving in the shape of a bird) towards the range. As it landed, the mountain seemed to roar with the sound of the birds rising from the forest. Maungaharuru translates as rumbling mountain, named for the sound of the prolific bird life.

Maori used the range as a food source for hunting and bird snaring. Snared birds, preserved in their own fat, were traded with coastal tribes for fish.

A track along the range to Te Urewera country connected the coast with the interior ranges. Obsidian hunting tools, adzes, a knife and broken mere have been found in the area.

A number of iwi and hapu are recognised as tangata whenua namely Ngati Hineuru, Ngati Pahauwera, Ngati Tu, Ngati Kurumokihi, and Ngati Whakaairi.

European history

The Boundary Stream Scenic Reserve was originally part of Te Heru o Tureia and Maungaharuru blocks. The Crown purchased Te Heru o Tureia from the Maori owners in 1913 and 1925 and the land was subsequently made available by ballots for servicemen returning from World War 1. Further land sales were made to the public after the 1925 purchase.

William Herbert Guthrie-Smith was a farmer, writer, philosopher and pre-eminent naturalist. In 1882, together with a schoolmate relation, he took possession of Tutira Station, which became his home for almost 60 years until his death in 1940. He was a founding member of the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society, and presented numerous papers to the Royal Society.

Getting there

Just north of Tutira, turn off SH2 onto Matahorua Rd. Turn onto Pokokura Rd to access the southern end of the Boundary Stream area, or continue on Matahorua Rd and turn into Heays Access Rd to reach the northern end.


Ahuriri / Napier Office
Phone:   +64 6 834 3111
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   59 Marine Parade
Napier 4110
Postal Address:   PO Box 644
Napier 4140
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