On Sundays from October to May, the Guthrie-Smith Arboretum is open to the public from 9am to 5pm. Entry is free.
The Arboretum comprises 90 hectares where over 20,000 trees have been planted since 2002. It is a unique asset for the people of New Zealand, and an enjoyable destination for local and international visitors alike.
The Arboretum is an environment where the trees of many countries can be seen, appreciated and studied, and is an important and significant repository for many plant species. A number of collections of single genera including tree crop collections is being developed, along with small blocks of timber trees for evaluation.
The overall concept is a series of ‘groupings’ of trees from different countries and geographical regions (New Zealand, Australia, China, Japan, Himalayas, Europe, Mexico, North America, Mediterranean and others), all linked by various walkway tracks.
Land clearance has taken place (and continues), with dams and tracks developed in support of the carefully planned and ongoing tree planting programme.
An existing 10 hectare hill face area, with a walking track through it called The Hanger, provides an interesting backdrop of bush to the Homestead and Arboretum. The Hanger has evolved since 1896 when Guthrie-Smith ‘shut the gate’ on this poor pastoral area covered in fern in order to observe the natural regeneration back to forest. For over 115 years, this area has been left largely untouched by human intervention. It is breathtakingly beautiful.
In 2014, The Hangar was placed under a Queen Elizabeth II Trust covenant in partnership with Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, to protect this area in perpetuity.
The Arboretum is increasingly providing an important habitat for native birds and other wildlife and an extensive pest control programme operates throughout the property.
A computer-based system is used to record full details and GPS location of each tree or group of similar trees. Growth and other data relating to most trees is recorded every year.
The management and development of Guthrie-Smith and the Arboretum is funded from the investment returns on proceeds from the sale of the original land plus grants from local trusts, and donations from organisations and individuals.
This gifting is critical to meeting ongoing development objectives. The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and Department of Conservation have assisted and continue to provide ongoing support in various ways.
For further information please contact our Curator.