Lindis Pass

Lindis Pass, one of New Zealand's highest roads

Lindis Pass is a mountain pass at an elevation of 971m (3,186ft) above the sea level, linking the Mackenzie Basin with Central Otago. The actual pass crosses a saddle between the valleys of the Lindis and Ahuriri Rivers. For many months of the year, you can expect to see snow in this mountainous area - often down to the roadside.

Located in the South Island of New Zealand, the pass is traversed by the State Highway 8. Adjacent to the highway is the Lindis Conservation Area, where snow tussock grassland dominates the landscape. The pass is the highest point on the South Island's state highway network. The scenic drive is approximately 63 km in length. Driving at about 60 to 100 km/h (37 to 62 mph), it would take approximately 35 – 60 minutes to go through Lindis Pass. The road through Lindis Pass is hilly and winding, so you won’t be able to drive 100 km/h (62 mph) very often. Remember that this is an exposed alpine area and the weather can be unpredictable.

To reach the pass, drive from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo, and then from Lake Tekapo drive to Lake Pukaki, and then onwards to Twizel and Omarama. From Omarama you can drive South on State Highway 8 to Lindis Pass. The surface of the road is paved and it's usually open all year. Before reaching Lindis Pass when driving from Omarama, you can take a short detour down Ahuriri Valley and back by driving on Birchwood road, which is a gravel road. Conditions can change quickly and be harsh.


NOTICE: Due to the spread of COVID-19, many points of interest and roads are closed and travel is not recommended. Please follow all local health authority directives before venturing off, and stay safe.