Walk or mountain bike around Flat Top Hill Conservation area, where native species grow in the driest of conditions. The area includes historical evidence of European and Chinese settlement.
About the area
The Flat Top Hill Conservation Area consists of 813 ha purchased by DOC in 1992. Situated behind Butchers Dam, it encompasses the northern end of Flat Top Hill running north to south, bounded by Lake Roxburgh in the east and Butchers Creek and State Highway 8 in the west. Flat Top Hill is a miniature block mountain, at the foot of the Old Man Range (Kopuwai).
A dry land ecosystem, Flat Top Hill supports a diverse range of animal and plant life, including examples of regenerating native plant species that previously covered much of the lowland valleys of Central Otago. Dry land ecosystems are one of New Zealand’s most threatened ecosystems. Flat Top Hill is important for observation, recording and management of such ecosystems
The area also includes some interesting historical evidence of European and Chinese settlement.
You can walk the 40-minute Interpretive Loop Track and learn about the geology and history of the area.
For walking and mountain biking, old 4WD access tracks exist. These tracks loop back on themselves, providing numerous combinations for exploration of the Flat Top Hill conservation area. Times range from two hours to half day and full day, depending on mode of travel, foot or bike.
Mountain biking beginners can ride the Roxburgh Gorge Cycle Trail, which is accessed from Alexandra and traverses along the shoreline of Lake Roxburgh through the stunning Roxburgh Gorge.
The local mountain biking club has developed mountain biking trails in partnership with DOC. See the Mountain Bikers of Alexandra Facebook page for more information about the trails.
You can walk dogs in the area.
Flat Top Hill Conservation Area is located 6 km south of Alexandra on SH8. Turn left into the access to Butchers Dam.
Access to Flat Top Hill Conservation Area is via an easement over private land and consent from the Last Chance Irrigation Company to use the dam crest. Respect the adjoining private property. Dogs must remain on a leash until in the Conservation Area. Foot and mountain biking only.