New Zealand Walks: Tainui Heritage Walk
Tainui Heritage Walk is through a gully and hill-slope reserve located near the southern edge of Havelock North suburban area in the Hawkes Bay.
A network of well-formed tracks follows easy gradients, but there are some steeper corners. This area is mostly under the canopy of trees, the shading especially welcome in summer. It is a good place to ‘lose yourself’ and ‘get away’.
The Reserve is a gem. Walking shoes and a hiking pole are recommended. History Reserved from early days of subdivision the area was not really appreciated until the 1980s when a start was made to remove accumulated garden rubbish and other debris.
In 1993 Havelock North Rotary Club established Heritage Trails. Adjacent neighbours, with Hastings District Council, continue with improvements and plantings.
A mixture of introduced trees, native species, and garden escapes make an inspection of the reserve a good test for any person interested in plants.
Look for different forms of pinus radiata, cupressus macrocarpa, and pseudosuga taxifolia (douglas fir); identify the natives such as mahoe, karaka, rangiora, kawakawa, etc; and tolerate cotoneaster, fig, loquat, cape gooseberry, smilex and blackberry.
Birds too are a mixture of native and introduced. Look for fantails and dunnock (hedge sparrow); listen for tui and song thrush.
Cultural interests near Hikanui Drive entrance include earth works of an early Maori pa site. Modern housing developments on the next ridge are an abrupt contrast.
Concrete water reservoirs serve both Hastings and Havelock North with water pumped from Heretaunga Plains’ aquifer.
Access is from four points, all with adequate parking: •Top access is from Hikanui Drive. •Middle access (recommended) is from Tainui Drive.
•Bottom access is from Keirunga Road.
•Keith Sands Grove. (The easiest to find quickly, but not the most convenient for ready access to the gully).
From the central roundabout in the Village, proceed up Joll Road to the intersection with Tanner Street. Ahead is Keith Sands Grove.
A flat and grassed terrace beside Mangarau Stream forms a recreation area with easy flat walking and picnic facilities.
At the far end is Keirunga Road access to the gully reserve.
Above left: The track walking towards Keith Sands Grove. Above Right: A couple on the Tainui Heritage Walk. Below right: The steps from Keith Sands Grove.