Lake Tūtira

Coordinates: 39°13′19″S 176°53′35″E / 39.222°S 176.893°E / -39.222; 176.893
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Lake Tūtira
Lake Tutira in 2009
Lake Tutira in 2009
Location of Lake Tūtira
Location of Lake Tūtira
Lake Tūtira
LocationHawke's Bay, North Island
Coordinates39°13′19″S 176°53′35″E / 39.222°S 176.893°E / -39.222; 176.893
Catchment area27 km2 (10 sq mi)
Basin countriesNew Zealand
Surface area1.74 km2 (0.67 sq mi)
Average depth20.8 m (68 ft)
Max. depth42 m (138 ft)
Residence time2 years
Surface elevation150 m (490 ft)

Lake Tūtira is a body of water in north-eastern Hawke's Bay in New Zealand.[1]

Much of the area was surveyed by Herbert Guthrie-Smith, who farmed 60,000 acres (240 km²) surrounding the lake.[2] Guthrie-Smith, a naturalist, published the popular Tutira: the story of a New Zealand sheep station in 1921.[3] Today, a camp is run at the site of his homestead.[4]

A small settlement, Tutira, is located near the lake, on State Highway 2 30 kilometres north of Whirinaki.

Sedimentary cores from the lake were used to demonstrate that the landslides mobilising sediments for transport into the lake occur in frequency and magnitude according to a power law.[5]

Trout fishing is permitted as a stream flows into its northern reaches. For centuries Māori seasonally lived by Lake Tūtira and it is possible to see the remains of six pa sites. The Tutira Walkway, ascends to the Table Mountain trig station for views over Hawke's Bay and takes about five hours to complete.[citation needed]

Land Air Water Aotearoa describes the water quality as "poor", specifically showing eutrophic lake conditions.[6] The lake suffers from periodic algal blooms.[7]

In 2023, the lake was in a poor condition and not safe for swimming as a result of algal blooms caused by high temperatures, runoff from farms, and nutrient-rich inflows during heavy rains.[8]

Geological history[edit]

The lake contains a high-resolution record of the sedimentation since its formation about 6,500 years ago.[9] It has a small catchment area, whose dominant erosion mechanism is landsliding; as a result of this, infrequent, large storms account for the bulk of the sedimentary depositional volume; Cyclone Bola is a particularly important recent example.[10][11]


  1. ^ Hariss, Gavin. "Lake Tutira, Hawke's Bay". NZ Topo Map.
  2. ^ Cooper, Ronda (1966). "Guthrie-Smith, William Herbert, Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 1996". Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 2019-02-21.
  3. ^ Platts, Una. "Dobie, Beatrix (Mrs Vernon) 1887–c.1945". Retrieved 2017-09-04.
  4. ^ McLintoc, A. H. (1966). "GUTHRIE-SMITH, William Herbert, from An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand". Retrieved 2017-10-11.
  5. ^ Gomez, B.; Page, M.; Bak, P.; Trustrum, N. (2002). "Self-organized criticality in layered, lacustrine sediments formed by landsliding". Geology. 30 (6): 519–522. Bibcode:2002Geo....30..519G. doi:10.1130/0091-7613(2002)030<0519:SOCILL>2.0.CO;2.
  6. ^ "Lake Tutira Water Quality". Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA). Retrieved 2020-08-24.
  7. ^ "High bacteria levels grow in Hawkes Bay lake". Hawke's Bay Today/The New Zealand Herald. 8 October 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  8. ^ Hendery, Simon (7 March 2017). "Once a favourite Hawke's Bay destination, Lake Tutira is in a bad way". Stuff. Retrieved 8 September 2023.
  9. ^ Eden, D.N.; Froggatt, P.C.; Trustrum, N.A.; Page, M.J. (1993). "A multiple-source Holocene tephra sequence from Lake Tutira, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand". New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics. 36 (2): 233–242. doi:10.1080/00288306.1993.9514571.
  10. ^ Page, M.J.; Trustrum, N.A.; Derose, R.C. (1994). "A high resolution record of storm-induced erosion from lake sediments, New Zealand". Geomorphology. 9 (3): 169. Bibcode:1994JPall..11..333P. doi:10.1007/BF00677993. S2CID 128868898.
  11. ^ Page, M.; Trustrum, N; Dymond, J (1994). "Sediment budget to assess the geomorphic effect of a cyclonic storm, New Zealand". Geomorphology. 9 (3): 169. Bibcode:1994Geomo...9..169P. doi:10.1016/0169-555X(94)90061-2.

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