Eyre Mountains at dusk
Image: John Barkla ©

Introduction

The park provides unique opportunities to enjoy a backcountry experience in a remote setting. The area is isolated and, for the most part, physically demanding. You can visit the tiny fragile historic Dog Box Hut.

Highlights

  • Tramping, fishing, hunting, four wheel driving, mountain biking, horse riding, picnicking and camping are popular options in this remote and scenic landscape. 
  • There are limited but challenging climbing opportunities including Eyre Peak at1969 m, and Jane Peak at 2022 m, the highest in Southland outside Fiordland National Park.
  • The smallest hut in the land, Dog Box Hut captures the lost era of the horseback high country muster.
  • You can stay in Beech Hut, one of the oldest musterer’s huts remaining in Southland.
  • There are good camping opportunities throughout the park. The Irthing Valley Picnic Area has a toilet and barbeque areas are provided. Elsewhere campers must be more self-sufficient. There are several beech clearings near hut sites suitable for pitching tents, as well as opportunities to camp in open valleys.
  • The park covers 65,160 ha of existing public conservation land and includes the headwaters of the Upper Mataura and Oreti Rivers that eventually flow into Foveaux Strait.
  • The terrain at the southern end of the park is typically more gentle than the north, with altitudes dropping to 400 m in places.

Place overview

Activities

  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Mountain biking
  • Walking and tramping

Facilities

  • Barbeque
  • Picnic tables
  • Toilets
  • Check clean dry
    Stop the spread of didymo and other freshwater pests.

    Remember to Check, Clean, Dry all items before entering, and when moving between, waterways.

In this section

Find things to do and places to stay Eyre Mountains/Taka Rā Haka Conservation Park

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About track difficulties
About track difficulties
About hut categories

Fishing

Trout fishing is particularly popular on the Oreti and Mataura Rivers, situated on the edge of the park. Within the park the Windley and Mataura Rivers also provide opportunities for anglers. Contact Southland Fish & Game for more information and fishing licences.

Historic sightseeing

The smallest hut in the land, Dog Box Hut captures the lost era of the horseback high country muster.

Four wheel driving

There is 4WD access to all the main valleys in the Eyre Mountains. These range from formed, metal roads to offroad tracks, with conditions varying from easy to difficult. Most of the access routes to the park are surrounded by pastoral runs or plantation forestry. Respect private land and leave gates as you find them.

Unless otherwise stated, there is legal public access through most of the stations surrounding the Eyre Mountains. These are generally well marked with green and gold posts – refer to the DOC signage enroute.

Horse riding

Horse riding is permitted in the Eyre Creek and Upper Mataura River.

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    About this place

    Getting there

    The park is approximately an hour’s drive from Invercargill or Queenstown and can be accessed from a number of points along SH6 between Kingston and Five Rivers, the Five Rivers Mossburn Road and from SH94 Mossburn – Te Anau.

    Practical and legal public access is available to the Ōreti, Acton, Cromel, Eyre Creek and Mataura catchments. Elsewhere access is over private roads or pastoral run land and permission must be obtained to cross it.

    Know before you go

    While the area offers a wide scope of recreational opportunities, it is recommended visitors to this area have good backcountry experience and are well prepared.

    The terrain is remote and physically demanding, while weather patterns can change dramatically with little warning. Snow can fall at any time of the year, and sudden heavy rain can be particularly hazardous - as small easily crossed streams quickly become impassable.

    Take adequate food, clothing and equipment. Portable stoves and fuel must be carried.

    Mobile coverage in the area is extremely limited. It is recommended that visitors carry a Personal Locator Beacon or a Mountain Radio.

    Topo50 series topographical maps CD09 South Mavora Lake, CD10 Eyre Peak, CD11 Kingston, CC10 Walter Peak, CC11 Queenstown should be used by all visitors to the park.

    Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.

    Contacts

    Murihiku / Invercargill Office
    Phone:   +64 3 211 2400
    Email:   invercargill@doc.govt.nz
    Address:   7th Floor
    CUE on Don
    33 Don Street
    Invercargill 9810
    Full office details
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