Oteake Conservation Park four wheel driving tracks

Open dates

The designated 4WD tracks in Oteake Conservation Park are open between Labour Weekend and 30 April. During that period, if conditions are unsuitable and/or the tracks become prone to damage, they may be closed.

Getting there

There are several access routes on both the Otago and Canterbury sides of the park, the mains one being Hawkdun Runs Road, Home Hills Run Road and Mt Buster Road in the Maniototo, and Broken Hut Road from the Waitaki Valley. Details on  individual tracks can be found in the descriptions below.

Much of the public access into the park is along easements crossing private land. Please respect this by driving carefully, keeping to tracks and roads, and leaving gates as you find them.

4WD access is limited to the formed tracks described below and shown on the Oteake Conservation Park map, available from the local DOC office.

These tracks may also be used by trampers and mountain-bikers. Please drive carefully and consider other users.

Four wheel driving in Mackenzie/Waitaki brochure (PDF, 1005K)


4WD vehicles on the East Manuherikia Track. Photo: Malcolm Langley.
4WDs on the East Manuherikia Track.
Photo: Malcolm Langley - NZ Adventures.

East Manuherikia Track

Distance: 19 km

From Hawkdun Runs Road a 4WD track crosses open grassland for about 3 km to the Manuherikia River junction. From here a popular, well-formed track follows the east branch and climbs steadily to Little Omarama Saddle, providing access to Oteake's tops and descends to Broken Hut Road carpark.

West Manuherikia Track

Distance: 25 km

From Hawkdun Runs Road a 4WD track crosses open grassland for about 3 km to the Manuherikia River junction. From here the track follows the west branch along a rough track to the Omarama Saddle (1260m) and descends to Broken Hut Road carpark on a well-formed track.

Johnstones Creek Track

Distance: 34 km 

From Home Hills Runs Road, after crossing flat tussock grassland the track climbs steeply on a very narrow, rocky track to the crest of the Hawkdun Range; not recommend for inexperienced 4WDrivers. The track follows the range crest, descends Walking Spur then climbs onto a plateau. It descends again, crosses Boundary Creek, climbs once more, goes down to Guffies Creek and joins the Mt Buster Track.

Mt Buster Track

Distance: 28 km

This is a steep climb on a well-formed track through open tussock to the Buster Diggings (6 km). There are, however, rough, steep areas past the Buster Diggings.

Caution: there is an active slip over the Mt Kyeburn 4WD track within the Timber Creek Conservation Area. The slip makes vehicle access difficult. Use extreme caution when crossing this slip. Do not attempt to cross if conditions do not allow for a safe vehicle passage.

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Find out more


Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

Alerts for Otago places


Kā Moana Haehae / Alexandra Office
Phone:      +64 3 440 2040
Email:   alexandra@doc.govt.nz
Full office details