The dramatic Lindis Pass links the Mackenzie Basin with Central Otago. The actual pass crosses a saddle between the valleys of the Lindis and Ahuriri Rivers at an altitude of 971 metres above sea level. For many months of the year, you can expect to see snow in this mountainous area – often down to the roadside.
Current status: Makarora to Haast – Open chains to be carried
This route was a traditional pathway for Maori journeying west in search of pounamu (greenstone or jade). The basins that are filled by Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka were gouged out by the Hawea and Wanaka Glaciers. Two arms of the glaciers joined at a narrow piece of land called The Neck.
At the Gates of Haast gorge, many travellers stop to photograph the wild water as it crashes over the river boulders.