Wairepo Kettleholes walk

Wairepo Kettleholes walk

Mackenzie Basin


Time: 1hr 30 min return / Distance: 7 km

The entry point to the Wairepo Kettleholes is 14 km along Quailburn Road at a sign-posted car park. Quailburn Road turns off SH 8 four kilometres north of Omarama. The easement follows an old 4WD track through private farmland. A stile leads into the conservation area and from here it is a short distance to the kettleholes in the south-eastern part of the conservation area.

The kettleholes provide an important feeding area for a number of key bird species including the black stilt/kakï and wrybill/ngutuparore. When the water level recedes during summer, the base of the kettlehole is covered in a very rich carpet of tiny turfland plants. There are also fragmented patches of red tussock particularly alongside the meandering Wairepo Creek.

Getting there

The Mackenzie Basin is situated in the centre of New Zealand's South Island. It features mountains, lakes, rivers, beech forest remnants and rolling tussock country.

All of the walking tracks described here are easy to access from main roads and offer fantastic views of the Mackenzie high country, with the exception of Marker Bay which ends in a nestled cove beside Lake Pukaki.

Some of these walks include easements through private farmland. Please respect the landowners’ rights by keeping to the marked easements. These are well-signposted and marked by orange poles. Please ensure all public access gates for walkers are closed behind you.


Feature Value Info


South IslandMount Cook - MacKenzieTwizel


  • Walking
  • Free


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