Flat Top Hill Conservation Area: Alexandra area

Kids on a rock at Flat Top Hill
Image: Trudy Anderson | DOC

Introduction

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.

Highlights


In this section

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.

Activities

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. 

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.

Mountain Bikers of Alexandra (MOA) has developed mountain biking trails in partnership with DOC. These trails are purpose built bike trails marked on the ground with blue markers. 

Dogs must be on a lead. 

Getting there

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.

Track Overview

Butchers Dam Loop track

Time: 1 hr return, 2.5 km

Basin View Track

Time: 3 ¼ hr return, 7 km
Mountain biking: Bike grade 3

Flat Top Tramping Track

Time: 4 hr return, 10 km
Mountain biking: Bike grade 3

Roxburgh Faces Tramping Track

Time: 4 km, 3-4 hr return from Flat Top Tramping Track junction.

This track is steep with a 400 m drop in altitude.  Alternatively to avoid the steep climb back up the face, you can link up with the Roxburgh Gorge Cycle Trail.

Brochure about tracks in this area (PDF, 4,418K) 

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