Kopuwai Conservation Area
Image: Gilbert van Reenen | ©

Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


DOC is reminding snowmobile enthusiasts to keep to designated areas in the Old Man Range/Kopuwai conservation area for their motorised powdery pursuits.

Date:  19 August 2020

DOC Central Otago operations manager Mike Tubbs says snowmobiling on the snow-capped plateaus of Central Otago has been gaining in popularity over the years. So in the 2016 Otago Conservation Management Strategy, an area was designated on the Old Man Range for the activity.

“The Old Man Range/Kopuwai conservation area is the only public conservation land in the region that has a designated place for private snowmobile use.”

This is to ensure impacts such as noise and disturbance are minimised, he says.

“Snowmobiling is a motorised activity  that is  fun for the people doing it although can have an impact on others  seeking a quieter backcountry experience.

“Therefore we manage where the activity can take place to ensure the impacts on other conservation land users is minimised.”

However, DOC has recently received reports of unauthorised snowmobile users operating in places like the Pisa Range, Mike says.

“As with any activity, users need to familiarise themselves with rules and restrictions on where they can undertake their sport,” Mike says.

“No snow mobiles are permitted on the Pisa Range.”

If people were unsure where they can and can’t snowmobile, the local DOC staff were happy to help.


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Email: media@doc.govt.nz

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