Tenehaun Conservation Area
Located in the Canterbury region
IntroductionTenehaun Conservation Area includes the highest peak in the Moorhouse Range, as well as walking and mountain-bike public access easements above Rangitata Gorge.
Find things to do and places to stay Tenehaun Conservation Area
Turn off Arundel Rakaia Road (Highway 72) at Ealing, which is on the bank of the Rangitata River. Follow Ealing Montalto Road for 14 km and turn left on Klondyke Terrace. This road continues to the Rangitata Diversion Race intake at the Rangitata River. A public access easement starts from this point.
Mt Tripp and Moorhouse Range:
Turn off Main South Road (Highway 72) at Ealing and follow Ealing Montalto Road for 19.5 km. At the ‘T’ junction, turn left onto Hinds Gorge Road and then right onto Chapmans Road. The public access easement starts at the end of this road.
Follow Arundel Rakaia Road (Highway 72) to Mayfield and then turn right onto Mayfield Klondyke Road. At Montalto turn left onto Mayfield Klondyke Road; at the crossroads go straight ahead onto Klondyke Terrace. This road continues to the Rangitata Diversion Race intake at the Rangitata River. A public access easement starts from this point.
Mt Tripp and Moorhouse Range:
Follow Arundel Rakaia Road (Highway 72) to Mayfield and then turn right onto Mayfield Klondyke Road. At Montalto turn right onto Hinds Gorge Road and follow this for 9 km. Turn right onto Chapmans Road. The public access easement starts at the end of this road.
Plants and birds you might see
Narrow-leaved and short-leaved snow tussock/wī occur on all the upper slopes. The narrow-leaved snow tussock is the most extensive plant community on Moorhouse Range.
Shrubs and small trees are found in most stream gullies and gorges. Typically these are matagouri/tūmatakuru, coprosma/karamū and Olearia, with some kōwhai, lancewood/horoeka, ribbonwood/houhere and cabbage trees/ti kōuka.
There is a large wetland at the top end of Nabob Stream with native grasses and sedges.
Open-country birds include the New Zealand pipit/pīhoihoi, Australasian harrier/kāhu and the New Zealand falcon/kārearea, while tomtits/miromiro, grey warbler/riroriro and silvereye/tauhou are found amongst the shrubs.
In the past
Tenehaun was formed in 1889 when Shepherds Bush run, first taken up by the Moorhouse brothers in 1854, was divided up and sold.
Rangitata Diversion Race
The Rangitata River has always been an important boundary for the property. The Rangitata Diversion Race (RDR), which started as a 1930s Great Depression irrigation scheme and opened in 1945, was the first major river-diversion race in New Zealand.
The RDR transports water 67.6 kilometres across the Canterbury Plains from Klondyke in the Rangitata Gorge to the Rakaia River, where it is discharged through Highbank
Large concrete siphon pipes were produced at the Birches concrete plant. A siphon pipe used as a shed can be seen in Methven township. During World War II concrete cylindrical road blocks for home defence were made at the plant, an example can be seen at Ealing on State Highway 1.