Hawkdun Range in Central Otago

Get information about Hawkdun Range in Central Otago in New Zealand, see photos, and learn when it is the best time to visit this scenic mountain range.

What and where is Hawkdun?

Hawkdun Range is a mountain range that is located south of Omarama, north of Ranfurly, and east of St. Bathans in Central Otago on the South Island of New Zealand.

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Hawkdun Range has a very characteristic appearance in that it is very long, pretty flat, and looks smooth.

It stretches for approximately 50 km (31 mi) in a slightly southeastern direction and is aligned with St. Bathans Range, which lies to the west and is about half the length of Hawkdun Range.

In summer, Hawkdun Range tends to take on a brown color and in winter it may be either snowcapped or snow-covered so dressed in white, which makes it a good subject for photography.

How to get to Hawkdun Range

The easiest way to get to Hawkdun Range is to drive from Alexandra to Ranfurly via State Highway 85. You won’t be able to miss Hawkdun Range, because it will appear right in front of you after you pass the turnoff for St. Bathans.

You could also visit Falls Dam to get a view of Hawkdun Range with water in the foreground. Note that the road to Falls Dam is a gravel road that gets rougher toward the end just before you reach the dam.

However, you do not need a four wheel drive to visit Falls Dam. You can park your car and walk the last few meters of gravel road if necessary.

To get to Falls Dam, take Loop Road, which is a gravel road on your left when coming from Alexandra on State Highway 85, just before the highway makes a sharp bend to the right to go to Ranfurly.

Falls Dam and Hawkdun Range in New Zealand

Drive on Loop Road until you see a road (Fiddlers Flat Road) on your right. You should also see a yellow AA sign indicating the direction to Falls Dam.

Hawdun Range is a 2-hour drive from Queenstown and can easily be done as a short day trip from Queenstown, and on a clear day, you can see Hawdun Range all the way from the top of Mount Roy in Wanaka.

Why visit Hawkdun Range?

You can visit Hawkdun Range for the scenic view it provides, and if you are in the neighborhood anyway to visit St. Bathans Blue Lake, why not go a bit further and see Hawkdun Range?

If you want to see Hawkdun Range without snow, summer would be the best time to visit it.

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If you want a dusting of snow on the mountain range, autumn or spring would be your best bet, although spring might offer a bit more snow than autumn.

For a partially or completely covered Hawkdun Range in snow, visit Central Otago in winter.

Central Otago is a region that is known for its sharp contrasts in seasons: It can get very hot in summer and very cold in winter.

What I like most about Central Otago is that you can drive for miles and miles and just see a whole lot of nothing: Wide open spaces, farmlands, tussock grasslands, schist rock, spectacular scenery, mountains, and more mountains.

The photo of Hawkdun Range and sheep shown below was shot in autumn. As you can see, there was a dusting of snow on Hawkdun Range, an early sign of the winter to come.

Hawkdun Range with snow in autumn in New Zealand

 

Note: Places can change and/or become inaccessible. The information presented here was accurate when it was gathered.

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