OTEAKE TAG ALONG & PASSENGER TOUR
OTEAKE CONSERVATION AREA
Central Otago's Oteake Conservation Area is a vast 65,000 hectare DOC estate with a landscape of golden tussock plateaus and scree slopes. The distinctive flat-topped Hawkdun Range is the area’s centrepiece and often features in paintings and photography.
We offer 2 tours in the Oteake Conservation Area -
TOUR ONE | Beginner 4WD / Families
This tour was designed to provide beginner off-roaders with the opportunity to experience the Oteake Conservation Area. Starting with a climb up onto the plateau, we explore the amazing remains of the Buster Gold Diggings, once New Zealands highest gold mine. The diggings are now a vast area of pure white quartz gravel eroded into towering pinnacles and a great place to spend some time exploring.
From the Buster Diggings, we drive up towards Mt Kyeburn (1636m) to get an impressive 360 degree view over the Maniototo and Central Otago (the video below from 56 second mark shows the Mt Kyeburn views on a good day). We then head down through Guffies Creek towards Tailings Hut. This stunning little valley has plenty of potential swim holes for any one game enough. From the hut, we re-trace our tracks and begin our descent towards Naseby - this time with magnificent views to the south over the Maniototo.
TOUR TWO | Intermediate 4WD skill level required
This tour is not just amazing for the superbly wild views, but also the terrain we encounter driving through the Oteake. From steep narrow climbs, uneven scree faces, river crossings, remote tussock plateaus, sharp rock tors and a descent that is extremely memorable and challenging the first time. This is a tour that will bring a smile to anyone looking for a 4WD adventure.
This day includes driving tracks to Mt Kyeburn, Buster Diggings, Guffies Creek, Tailings Hut, Otematata River, Ida Railway Hut and the Hawkdun Range.
The tracks we use for this tour through the Oteake require tag along drivers to be familiar and competent with the following:
That all said, this tour is achievable for most people that have been off- roading before ; it is not suitable for beginners or drivers that lack confidence on narrow tracks. If in doubt give me a call and we can discuss this and possible alternatives entry points into the Oteake Conservation Area.
NATURE AND CONSERVATION
Within Oteake, Otago species often reach their northern limits and similarly, Canterbury species reach their southern limits. The park protects numerous communities, including threatened plants: cypress hebe, native broom – coral and dwarf – Ranunculus acraeus and scree pea. The dominant vegetation is narrow-leaved tussock, found in a wide range of altitudes and situations.
Oteake’s diverse habitat hosts a range of bird species, from grey warbler/riorio in the shrublands to threatened, braided riverbed species: banded dotterel/tuturiwhatu, black-billed gull/karoro, black-fronted tern/tarapiroe and occasional black stilts/kakï.
Oteake is an oasis for lizards, including various skink and gecko species, many of them threatened or uncommon. Invertebrates include moths, grasshoppers, weevils and spiders – in alpine areas they often reach giant sizes.
Kāi Tahu believe that Oteake, 'place of the ake', is named for the ake ake: Olearia avicenniaefolia, a conspicuous shrub daisy found in the park. Oteake is also the indigenous name for both the Kye Burn and a stream on the other side of the range.
Oteake was important to tangata whenua from coastal Otago kāika/settlements as mahika kai—places where food was obtained. Weka were hunted and plants gathered. Stone quarries in the upper Manuherikia are further evidence of iwi activity.
Oteake’s European history began when pastoral leases were issued throughout the South Island’s high country in the 1850s, creating large lease holdings such as Hawkdun, Omarama, Otekaike and Morven Hill stations. Over time they were subdivided, and more recently, through tenure review and property purchase, have become Oteake Conservation Park.
The park shows evidence of gold mining with a network of water races, prospecting pits, hut sites and alluvial mining sluicings. Buster Diggings, a spectacular sculptural landform created by alluvial gold mining, was once New Zealand’s highest altitude goldfield at 1200 m.
History information credit, DOC
TRIP REQUIREMENTS (tag along)
Passenger tour price
These prices are for vehicle charter and guide - it's just you, the guide and your group !
Tag Along tour price
We offer discounts off the standard price for the following.
Full day tours depart at 6:45am from Queenstown or 9am from Naseby or as pre-arranged.
These trips run from early November to mid April depending on snow and track conditions.
Please contact us to discuss dates.
40 - 40
4WD Expeditions Limited
PO Box 1046
From New Zealand
Email : info@4WDexpeditions.nz
Freephone : 0800 4WD FUN (493 386)
Cell : 021 244 3920
From Overseas / International
Email : info@4WDexpeditions.nz
Phone : + 64 21 244 3920
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