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To the East of Lyttelton overlooking the town and Whakaraupo harbour lies Urumau reserve.

This reserve, which covers 26 hectares, is located on the prominent lava flow ridge that encloses Lyttelton on its eastern border. It is less rugged than Whakaraupo, and is a good place for picnics and walking. It is bounded on its northern boundary by a block of land owned by Lyttelton Port Company and on its eastern and southern sides by Sumner Road.


There are several informal tracks and walkways on the reserve. Considerable work has been done in developing a mountain bike track. In addition the Reserves Committee hopes to be able to extend its walking track along the ridge to the north of the reserve to connect up with other tracks on the Port Hills.

Access to the reserve is from its western boundary above Lyttelton town. It is from the northern end of Foster Terrace as well as from a section of the reserve which reaches down to Reserve Terrace.


The natural vegetation in the reserve consists of drought-tolerant trees and shrubs such as ngaio, kowhai, kanuka, ahirako, five finger, cabbage tree, small-leaved shrubs, vines and short tussocks. Although the reserve is covered mainly by weeds and introduced plants there is still a rich list of naturally occurring indigenous species.

In addition there are small areas which have been revegetated with indigenous trees shrubs and flaxes in recent years. Aside from this, today the reserve is covered by blocks of macrocarpa and pine trees, stands of weedy shrubs, patches of introduced grasses and other plants.

The most common weeds in the reserve are broom, boneseed, pasture grasses and old man’s beard, while other plants which also pose a threat to the survival of local indigenous plants include hawthorn, karo, sycamore, holly, boxthorn, lacebark and cotoneaster.

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Lyttelton Review

214 July 2018

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