Cairn Road Bog

Description: Extensive wetland complex located near a tributary of the Waipahi River. The wetland complex is characterised by bog wetlands scattered throughout the site, with fen wetlands occupying most of the shallow gullies between the raised bog domes. 89

Type/Class: Bog and Fen. 89

Size: 59.97 ha.

Altitude: 220 - 260 m above sea level.

Approximate Location: Junction of Slopedown Road and Cairn Road, Clinton. NZTM (centre point): E1309140 N4865530.

Regional Plan: Water for Otago. Schedule 9 Regionally Significant Wetland, no.172, Map F35.

Territorial Authority: Clutha District Council.


Interactive map of Cairn Road Bog

Recorded Values

Value Description
A5 Scarce in Otago in terms of its ecological or physical character. Lowland valley floor bog wetlands are a predictable feature of this part of South Otago, but are rarely found elsewhere in Otago, where bog wetlands are mostly restricted to upland sites, and are not dominated to the same extent by wire rush. 89
A1 - A4, A6 - A9 No relevant information is currently held by the ORC.


Other Information

  • Raised bogs within the wetland complex dominated by red tussock (Chionochloa rubra subsp. cuprea) and wire rush (Empodisma minus), with Celmisia gracilenta, Gaultheria macrostigma, Blechnum penna-marina, Androstoma empetrifolia, Drosera spathulata, Herpolirion novae-zelandiae, and manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) also present in most of these wetlands. 89

  • Raised bog at the western end of the site, near Slopedown Road, also supports many other species, including inaka (Dracophyllum longifolium), tauhinu (Ozothamnus leptophyllus), swamp kiokio (Blechnum minus), Gonocarpus aggregatus, Epilobium brunnescens, Carex echinata, Carpha alpina, and Pentachondra pumila. 89

  • Fen wetlands dominated by tall red tussock, but also contain soft rush (Juncus effusus), rautahi (Carex coriacea), wire rush, Gaultheria macrostigma, Blechnum penna-marina, and Gonocarpus aggregatus. 89

  • Spur-winged Plovers (Vanellus miles) can be observed roosting on the raised bog at the western end of the site. 89

  • Common exotic species that can be found within these bogs include gorse (Ulex europaeus), which may have invaded the wetland due to reduced water tables caused by drainage. Gorse can be found on better-drained sites on drain margins, but also to some degree on the raised bogs. 89

  • The wetland complex is bisected by historic and more-recently-excavated drains, and no part of the wetland complex is far from one or more of these drains. 89

  • Non-Significant Wetland areas that surround those areas that contain Significant Wetland values have been strongly modified by pastoral intensification and the clearance of indigenous vegetation. 89

  • The entire wetland complex is open to grazing by stock. 89



Aerial view of Cairn Road



Raised bog vegetation on Cairn Road Bog, dominated by red tussock and wire rush (March 2011)  89



Fen vegetation north of the Waipahi River tributary, dominated by red tussock. (March 2011) 89



89 Grove, P. (1994) Maniototo Ecological District. Survey Report for the Protected Natural Areas Programme. NZ Protected Natural Area Programme 30. Published by the Department of Conservation, Dunedin.

Page last updated 12 July 2024.