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Lake Tutira at Camp Ground

Lake Tutira is the second largest lake in Hawke’s Bay, located approximately 50km north of Napier.  It is a popular weekend and holiday place throughout the summer period as the HBRC Regional Park includes a camping ground, tracks for walking, sheltered picnic tables, scenic views.  

Unfortunately the lake has poor water quality, and while a lot of land management programmes and scientific research is helping find solutions, people are advised to stay out of lake waters. There are permanent signs at the lake advising why algal blooms as well as E. coli affect the recreational suitability at this lake in summer. The Hawke's Bay Public Health Unit alerts people to health concerns about recreation in the lake through news media.

The poor water quality is unfortunate, as the lake is in a spectacular setting.  The surrounding land use is predominantly sheep/beef farming, some forestry and park with soil conservation plantations.  The Guthrie Smith Trust Arboretum is on the highway side of the lake, DOC reserves are nearby (White Pine Bush, Boundary Stream), Lake Opouahi wildlife reserve is nearby, and Waipatiki Beach with holiday camp and one of Hawke's Bay's 'Top 5' beaches for water quality.

The toxic algal blooms are linked to heavy rainfall bringing sediment and nutrients off the steep hill country, and stored in the lake depths.  Cyanobacteria (blue-green) algae is naturally occuring in water ways and can bloom rapidly. Cercarial dermatitis (Duck itch) has also been found in the shallows and could recurr without warning.  


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