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Central Otago

Cluden, and Lauder Basin. 

Approx 2.5 hours from Dunedin, 2 hours from Queenstown.  Nearest towns St Bathans, Cambrians, Naseby ...

lauder basin map

Conservation Land, and tracks that are cut off from true public access because of the Crown Tenure Review process i.e. the sitting landowner purchased freehold some public land, and DOC retained a piece. But no one ensured that the public access over the freehold land was properly protected. 


Lauder Station Easement track

Lauder Station Road to Lauder Basin Conservation Area boundary: 6 km

Entry to the Lauder Basin Conservation area via Lauder Station for vehicle, walking, mountain biking and horse riding is on formed 4WD farm track . Some sections of road are rough with steep drop offs.

Lauder Basin Conservation Area road

Lauder Station Boundary to Cluden Station Boundary: 18 km

Access through the Lauder Conservation area for vehicle, walking, mountain biking and horse riding is along a formed 4WD farm track. Some sections of road are quite rutted and can be boggy after rain.

Cluden Station Easement

Lauder Basin Conservation Area boundary to Cluden Creek Car park: 7 km

Cluden Creek Car park to Cluden Quarry Car Park: 8 km

Access to the Lauder Basin Conservation area via Cluden Station for vehicle, walking, mountain biking and horse riding is on formed 4WD farm track. Some sections of road are rough with steep drop offs.

Cluden Creek Track

Cluden Creek Car park via Cluden Creek Track to Lauder Basin Conservation Area road: 20 km

Walking, biking and horse access is permitted along formed 4WD farm track. Some sections of road are rough with steep drop offs. Sections of track may be boggy after rain.

Note: The gate to Cluden Creek Track from Cluden Creek car park is locked (no key available), horses can only enter/exit Cluden Creek Track via the top entry point off Lauder Basin Conservation Area Road.

As with motor vehicle entry, horse riders will need to complete the online application for padlock codes to gain entry

Dunstan Pass

Cluden Creek Track/Chain Hills Track junction over Dunstan Pass to Dunstan Creek: 4 km

From the junction of Cluden Creek, Dunstan Pass and Chain Hills Tracks, the track climbs up to Dunstan Pass before making its descent to Dunstan Creek. Walking, mountain bike and horse access are permitted on this section of track.

Chain Hills Extension Track

Chain Hills extension track from Cluden Creek Track/Dunstan Pass junction to Long Acre Track junction: 15 km

This undulating track allows for walking, mountain bike and horse access. At the junction of the Long Acre track, this extension connects to the existing 5 km Chain Hills Track.

Sailors Creek Track

Sailors Creek Car park – Lauder Basin Conservation Area Boundary: 2 km

Access to this block is from Cambrian Road, off St Bathans Loop Road, 10 km north of Becks. 2WD access extends as far as the carpark at Sailors Creek. From here, a walking, mountain biking and horse easement starts from a stile

DOC page

The Dunstan Trail (The old Dunstan Road)

This track was used by gold miners seeking the riches of the Dunstan gold diggings in the 1860’s. It was the shortest viable route (175km) at the time from Dunedin to Dunstan (Clyde) but was limited by its altitude in adverse weather. Known as the ‘Mountain Track’

This is still a legal road, so you will be sharing with walkers, cyclists and sometimes 4WDs.  Ranges from sealed road to gravel, to natural track. 

A number of sites have been used in the Lord of the Rings Films. 

Poolburn to Paerau (Styx) - 50km

Paerau (Styx) to Clarks Junction - 50km
Serpentine gold field 25km side trip

Ohau Moraines Wetland Complex

2043ha. The Ohau Moraines Wetland Complex is located inland from the North Otago town of Omarama. 

Take SH8 between Twizel and Omarama. Turn onto Quailburn Road 4.5km north of Omarama. 

This is a sensitive environment so please ensure weeds are not spread. DOC brochure

North Opuha Conservation Area

Follow the Lochaber Road past Lake Opuha. Cross the North Opuha Bridge and turn left to continue down Fox Peak Skifield Road.  At the end of the road, just before the bridge leading to the skifield, is a car park. 

From this car park, access to the North Opuha Conservation Area is via an easement across freehold land. 

The easement is marked and is for foot, mountain-bike or horse only.

For more information contact the Raukapuka DOC Office.  Phone 03 693 1010 or email

Wairepo Kettleholes Conservation Area

The public entry point to the Wairepo Kettleholes is 14 km along Quailburn Road and is well sign-posted (Quailburn Road starts approximately four kilometres north of Omarama township off State Highway 8). 

There is ample room for off-road parking. Access is via an easement which follows an old farm track to the kettleholes; return the same way. The forested area on the eastern side of this easement is private land.

Contact Twizel DOC office for more information.

Nevis Valley 

210km round trip from Cromwell that explores the hidden Nevis Valley before circling around past Lake Wakatipu and back through the Kawarau Gorge.

More Information

The Onslow Road

An alternative to the full Dunstan Trail is a route from Paerau (Styx) to Roxburgh viaLake Onslow. This completes a circuit back to Alexandra and affords spectacular views over the fruit bowl that is the Teviot Valley. It is approx. 50kms from Styx to Roxburgh.

Used by 4WDs, and shared with other trail users.  

More Info :

Thomson Gorge Road

The route starts near Matakanui or the Bendigo area.

Offers panoramic views towards the Hawkdun Range, over the upper Clutha Valley towards Lakes Wanaka and Hawea, and the Southern Alps.

Used by 4WDs, and shared with other trail users.