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Conservation Areas Around the Otago Cental Rail Trail

Conservation is the care and protection of the Earth's natural resources for future generations. This includes the protection of species and ecosystems as well as maintaining the environment. 

There are a number of Conservation Areas along the Otago Central Rail Trail, including Kopuwai Conservation Area, Flat Top Hill, Oteake Conservation Park, and the Rock and Pillar Conservation Area.


Oteake Conservation Park covers 67,000 ha of stunnign high mountain country with a landscape of golden tussock, shrubland and wetlands. The park is a haven for tramping, fishing, skiing, photography, biking, horse riding and hunting. You may also come across the flight of a kārearea (New Zealand falcon or the Otago large gecko (Woodworthia sp.).


    [Endler, Friedrich Gottlob], 1763-1830? :Aquila falco novae Zeelandiae Polyborus cararara der neuseelandische Adlerhabicht der Traueradler, nach Bertuchs Bild[er]buche in Neuseeland [ca 1809-1824], A-327-023, Alexander Turnbull Library
Rock and Pillar

Rock and Pillar Conservation Area is a unique landscape with distinctive schist tors and rock pillars. The land is like a series of folds overlapping its way to the ocean. With extreme cold


winters and freeze and thaw cycles allows for an unqique group of animals, insects and plant life

including the mountain stone wētā (Hemideina Māori).


Photo of Stone Weta: Jon SullivanFollow, JJS_6168.Taken on April 27, 2013

Kopowai Conservation Area is bursting with life covering the

Flat Top Hill sits at the bottom of Old Man Range. With one of New Zealands most threatened dryland echosystem, the area has many diverse animals and plants once found on the lowlands of Central Otago. You may belucky to find a rare Alexandra chafer beetle. Find Out More @DOC

Photograph of the Cromwell chafer beetle (Prodontria lewisii)

Tiaki IRN: 515657 PA-Group-00685: Dominion Post 1975 (Newspaper):


Kopowai Conservation Area is bursting with life covering the

upper reachers of the Old Women and Old Man Ranges. The bottom of

the area sits 800m above sea level and reachers 1682m at the Obelisk/Kopuwai

on the Old Man Range. Kopowai reaches freezing temperatures. Click below to find out more.


The Department of Conservation (DOC) are tasked with mainaining and looking after not only the Otago Central Rail Trail, but the stunning animals, insects and plant life so that future generations can enjoy this incredible environment. 


Korero Gecko (Woodworthia otago southland large), steve_kerr, January 2017

 Discover Conservation 
Areas seen from the Otago Central Rail Trail 

What Lives in Our Conservation Areas?

Hover over our conservation areas. 

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