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Lindis Pass

The highest road on the South Island of New Zealand


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Lindis Pass lies between the valleys of the Lindis and Ahuriri Rivers in the South Island of New Zealand. State Highway 8 goes over the pass connecting the towns of Cromwell, Central Otago, and Omarama, North Otago, to the Mackenzie Basin in the Canterbury Region. Lindis Pass has an elevation of 971 m (3,186 ft) being the highest point on the South Island that can be accessed by car.

To get to Lindis Pass from Christchurch, drive to Lake Tekapo, then to Lake Pukaki, Twizel and Omarama. State Highway 8 South goes from Omarama to Lindis Pass. On this 63-km drive, you may drive at the speed ranges of 60-100 km/h (37-62 mph). The paved road is open year round, but drivers can see snow in this mountain area.

The highway goes along beautiful Lindis Conservation Area with vast alpine areas of tussock grassland. It is gorgeous all year round, but when the mountains are covered in snow, it's especially picturesque. This area is excellent for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and bird watching. Birders can spot species like piwakawaka (fantail), karearea (falcon), titipounamu (rifleman), and riroriro (grey warbler). Hiking routes begin on the Tarras side of the Lindis Pass.

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