McKee Memorial Scenic Reserve, Tasman

McKee Memorial Scenic Reserve occupies an area of steep coastal scarp at the northern end of Ruby Bay. It lies just inland of McKee Memorial Recreation Reserve, and just south of Moutere Bluff Reserve. The reserve is approximately 1 kilometre north of Ruby Bay township on Stafford Drive.

Currently Closed

Following the recent storm, the reserve is currently closed. We are working on cleaning it up and assessing damage to the area.

Read Storm Recovery Information


Picture of McKee Memorial Scenic Reserve, Tasman


  • Picnic
  • BBQ
  • Playground
  • Toilets (fully accessible)
  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • River
  • Camping


The only facility present within the reserve is a walking track that provides an interesting introduction to the forest on the lower slopes. Other facilities, such as toilets and picnic tables, are present on the adjoining McKee Memorial Recreation Reserve.

Dog Prohibited Area

Dogs are prohibited on this reserve, as are other pets and animals.

There are many places within Tasman District to exercise your dog, both on and off the leash. Dogs are prohibited in several beach and reserve areas, and other areas require leash control.

Liquor Ban

A liquor ban exists within the reserve between 7.00 pm to 7.00 am.


The reserve covers an eroded scarp of Moutere Gravels, comprising rounded pebbles in a silt and clay matrix. It supports a substantial remnant of coastal forest dominated by titoki (Alectryon excelsus). Other important canopy species are black beech (on upper slopes), hinau, lemonwood, matai, and pigeonwood. Karaka, ngaio, lowland ribbonwood, and kowhai are present on the lower margins of the forest. Important sub-canopy species include ponga (Cyathea dealbata), Lophomyrtus obcordata, supplejack, and mahoe. Putaputaweta and akeake are present on the upper slopes.

This area of forest is notable as an important remnant of coastal forest in an area where such forest is substantially depleted. It provides important habitat for native bird species, including kereru. Modified coastal vegetation north of the reserve on the Moutere Bluff, and south of the reserve alongside State Highway 60 and within Pine Hill Heights Reserve, complement the forest protected within the McKee Memorial Scenic Reserve.


The late Arthur McKee originally reserved the forested area as McKee Bush. Ownership transferred to the Crown after his death in 1947 and the area was declared a Domain in 1948. Land owned by the Automobile Association was added to the reserve in 1956 to form the present McKee Memorial Scenic Reserve and Recreation Reserve.

Read more about the flora, fauna, geology and history of the reserve in the 1977 brochure.


Control and management of the reserve was vested in the Tasman District Council in 1992 for a term of three years. Continued control and management of the reserve is subject to prior approval of an annual work plan by the Department of Conservation.

 A management plan for both the recreation reserve and the scenic reserve was approved in 1989. This plan sets out detailed policies and bylaws for reserve management.

The McKee Memorial Reserves Committee assists with the management and development of the reserve.


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