Balmoral Conservation Area Historic Fire Lookout
Hurunui Bluff Road
A gentle climb to the top, using a 4WD track, it will take approx 20-30 minutes.
The Balmoral lookout is just off SH7 close by the Hurunui Township and is easily accessible by the 4wd walking track from Hurunui Bluff Road.
There is a recreation and camping reserve across the river which attracts numerous campers during the summer months many of which visit the lookout.
Once the short climb up to the lookout is achieved the site provides panoramic views over a wide area of the surrounding hills and the braided Hurunui River. Balmoral Forest planting commenced in 1917 and in 1939 the Lookout was established until it became redundant in 1979.
“Fire Lookouts hold their place in New Zealand alongside lighthouses”. “The legacy of a bygone era of fire watch remains in the fabric of the lookout building. In the case of the Balmoral lookout and its out buildings, it is a representative example of fire lookouts of its type and may be rare in NZ. It has the opportunity to tell the stories of an important occupation in forestry management”.
Reference: PAGE 11: Heritage Assessment – Balmoral Lookout, Fire lookout building, Balmoral Fire Lookout Conservation Area, Hurunui Bluff Road, North Canterbury.
Author: Ian Hill, May 2014