Mount Grey/ Maukatere Conservation Area
Image: Ronnie Penny | Creative Commons
Located in the Canterbury region
Mt Grey/Maukatere Conservation Area contains remnant native forest and tussock grasslands.
A prominent feature of the Mt Grey/Maukatere area is the native clematis vines with their eye-catching treetop display of white flowers during spring.
There is a variety of birdlife to be seen and heard in this forest area. Native species include pīwakawaka/fantail, korimako/bellbird, silvereye, miromiro/tomtit, riroriro/greywarbler, brown creeper, kererū/wood pigeon and tititipounamu/rifleman. Introduced species present include chaffinch, red poll, blackbird and song thrush.
Mt Grey is named after Sir George Grey, Governor and Premier of New Zealand between 1845 and 1879.
Maori named the mountain ‘Maukatere’ (floating mountain) because the spirits of the dead are believed to leave from the summit on the long journey to Cape Reinga.
From Amberley, follow Douglas Road, then Cramptons Bush Road until the road reaches the Lake Janet picnic area (17 km from Amberley). Turn left into Mount Grey Road, then right into Okuku Road to reach the Grey River picnic area (3.5 km from the the Lake Janet picnic area).
The ford accessing the Grey River picnic area is only suitable for high clearance 4WD vehicles. We strongly recommend you park before the ford and cross on foot.
Note: The Grey River Campsite is permanently closed due to fire risk and vehicle issues crossing the ford.
Wasp populations reach high numbers from January to March – wear light coloured clothing and carry antihistamine cream/tablets as a precaution.