The area has several entry points, the Prospect Hill, Omeo Gully Tracks and Symes Road are good examples. Access to the conservation area is on dry-weather, largely un-maintained legal roads. In winter, because of snow and ground conditions they become impassable and are closed.
Kopuwai has several vehicle entry points:
- the northern entrance is via the Nevis Road near Duffers Saddle
- the eastern entrance is either Symes Road or Waikaia Bush Road
- the southern entrance is via Whitecoomb Road - Piano Flat.
The Duffers Saddle entrance is reached via Bannockburn and the road to the Nevis Valley. Just over the brow, the Old Woman Track goes off to the left and climbs to the Kopuwai entrance about four kilometres away. The Old Woman Hut is just inside Kopuwai’s boundary and vehicles can continue through to Symes Road, Waikaia Road or Piano Flat.
Several access routes cross private land. Respect livestock and property and follow the instructions on DOC signs. Leave gates as you find them and use stiles where they’re provided.
Know before you go
This area is subject to weather extremes at any time of year and roads can become very wet and swampy. DOC’s office in Alexandra can advise on current conditions.
In winter the ranges are blanketed in snow. In summer, warm, pleasant conditions can reverse within minutes with freezing temperatures, high winds and severe, disorientating white-outs. Sensible clothing and footwear is essential.