Along the shore of Lake Wanaka between Waterfall Creek and Rippon Vineyard, the Blennerhassett Kanuka Reserve protected by a QEII covenant in perpetuity connects to the public walkway along the lakeside.
The owners, Jill and John Blennerhassett, placed the covenant over the 2.4 hectare area in 2000 to protect it from development and preserve its open space for future generations to enjoy.
Visitors are welcome to explore and enjoy the Blennerhassett Kanuka Reserve, with free access from the public walkway.
From left to right, this panorama shows the Blennerhassett Kanuka Reserve covenant along the shoreline of Lake Wanaka with Ruby Island to the centre left and Wanaka in the distance at the far right.
Access to the Blennerhassett Kanuka Reserve is from the public walkway along Lake Wanaka. Behind the gate and fence is the protected kanuka stand. Mt Alpha and Roys Peak are in the background.
An unusual species
The kanuka, or tea tree, growing here is a species that has yet to be formally described and named. Its small stature and very small leaves, flowers and seed capsules are distinguishing features. The bark too, is different as it rolls off the trunk like wood shavings.
These features are adaptations to the dry, cold environments of the Clutha Basin.
The species forms open woodland where the spacing and size of the trees is governed by the limited amount of moisture in the soil.