Lake Wanaka

Lindis Pass

This alpine area of tall, tussock-covered mountains is beautiful in every season, but with a dusting of snow it's particularly enchanting.

The dramatic Lindis Pass links the Mackenzie Basin with Central Otago. The actual pass crosses a saddle between the valleys of the Lindis and Ahuriri Rivers at an altitude of 971 metres above sea level. For many months of the year, you can expect to see snow in this mountainous area - often down to the roadside.

Adjacent to the highway is the Lindis Conservation Area. Here snow tussock grassland dominates the landscape. Longslip Mountain (1494 metres) has one of the most extensive sites of the buttercup ranunculus haastii in the Mackenzie Basin. Native bird species living here include titipounamu (rifleman), riroriro (grey warbler), piwakawaka (fantail) and karearea (falcon).
Although there are no formally marked tracks in the Lindis Conservation Area, you're welcome to explore the undulating terrain. It's also possible to walk, mountain bike or horse ride across private land to the Lindis River via Smiths Creek. This route begins is on the Tarras side of the pass - look for the parking area.

Remember that this is an exposed alpine area and the weather can be unpredictable. Ensure you carry warm, windproof clothing and appropriate footwear.