Gray’s Bush Scenic Reserve – Free Access to Beautiful Tramping Trails
Tramping trails seem to be everywhere in New Zealand, and for good reason. In fact, New Zealand has some of the most exquisite outdoor sceneries in the world. The good news is that most of these trails have free access. The Gray’s Bush Scenic Reserve is one of the more popular free trails available for your enjoyment, with an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 people who visit the scenic reserve each year.
Two Tramping Trails that Loop Around the Reserve
There are two main tramping trails that go through the reserve which connect, and one of them is wheelchair accessible. A leisurely walk might take an hour and a half. The reserve is notable for its 400 to 500 year old Kahikatea trees which are native to New Zealand. The floor is dense with various plant life, grasses, herbs and bush, while various birds and other wildlife call this home. The reserve is relatively small, at about 12 hectacres.
Gray’s Bush Scenic Reserve History
The Gray’s Bush Scenic reserve is what was left of a podocarp forest which used to cover the vast Gisborne plains. Most of the surrounding lands outside of the reserve were cleared out to plant vineyards, grain crops, citrus orchards and to make room for other agricultural purposes.
The land was privately owned by a man named Charles Gray, until he passed away in 1926. His estate offered the land to the Crown as a reserve, 8 years after Mr. Gray’s passing. The land and trails are currently managed by the Department of Conservation. For more information, check out this website.