Clay Cliffs – Omarama

If you are in the Omarama area make sure to visit the amazing Clay Cliffs scenic reserve.

We visited this area on our recent trip to the Twizel, not sure what to expect we followed the sign posts from the main road just past Omarama.  The Clay Cliffs are huge sharp pinnacles and ridges with deep, narrow ravines separating them. The Clay Cliffs are made of layers of gravel and silt, deposited by rivers flowing from glaciers existing 1-2 million years ago.

DSC_3620Compared to the nearby mountains which are 250 million years old, the Clay Cliffs are relatively new, today the gravel and silt layers have been tilted since they were deposited 1 – 2 million years ago.

DSC_3622 We paid our $5 at the gate and drove a few kilometres to another gate, from there it was a short distance to a car park but we went further along the track after the 4WD only sign, this ended right underneath the cliffs. If you don’t have a 4W drive the road in is fine and it’s only a short walk from the car park.

The view towards Oamarama from the end of the track.
DSC_3624A narrow opening leads inside to cliffs
DSC_3625  Once inside it’s Like a scene from an old western movieDSC_3626 (2) DSC_3630

DSC_3635 DSC_3637 DSC_3638 DSC_3639DSC_3642 Look at Graham and Max to give you an idea of the scaleDSC_3643DSC_3644DSC_3653 DSC_3652 DSC_3651 DSC_3649

How to get there:

from Omarama is about 15 mins drive north towards Twizel. Take the first road on your left about 700m after the Ahuriri Bridge, the route is well signposted from there. The cliffs are on private land, so they ask for a donation of $5 per vehicle towards the upkeep of the road into the area. There is an honesty box at the gate or you can pay at the information centre.

Also check out the other posts of this area, Quailburn Historic Site and Mount Cook

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