Loch Luella Fen Complex

Description: Red tussock (Chionochloa rubra) wetland, swamps and ponds on the floodplain of the upper Pioneer Stream, south of the western arm of Lake Mahinerangi, and draining into Loch Luella. 1
Type/Class: Fen and Swamp. 2
Size: 871.0 ha.
Altitude: 400-500 m above sea level.
Approximate location: 5 km Southeast of the intersection of Mitchells Flat Road and Waipori Falls Road, Lawrence | NZTM (centre point): E1362200 N4915100.
Regional Plan: Water for Otago | Schedule 9 Regionally Significant Wetland, no.85, Maps F46 & F47.
Territorial Authority: Clutha District Council.

Interactive map of Loch Luella Fen Complex

Recorded Values

Value Description
A1 Habitat for nationally or internationally rare or threatened species or communities. Recorded sightings of the threatened Australasian Bittern (Botaurus poiciloptilus) and the South Island Fernbird/Matata (Bowdleria punctata punctata). 1
A4 High degree of wetland naturalness. 2
A5 Scarce in Otago in terms of its ecological or physical character. Less than 15% of swamps remain in Otago. 2
A7 High diversity of indigenous wetland flora and fauna. Diverse plant communities. In swampy areas on valley floor Carex gaudichaudiana sedgeland occurs with exotic grasses, rushes and some large Sphagnum sp. cushions and other cushion species. 1
A2, A3, A6, A8, A9 No relevant information is currently held by the ORC.

Other Information

  • Composition of red tussock (Chionochloa rubra), Carex sp., Sphagnum sp., wire rush/oioi (Leptocarpus similis), wilding pine. 2
  • Wet tussock-land with wetland plants Mazus radicans and Gunnera prorepens. 80
  • Site of old gold mining and partly Historic Reserve administered by Department of Conservation. 1
  • Called Pioneer Creek in the Clutha District Plan, where it is listed as a Significant Wetland. Valued as waterfowl habitat.
Aerial View of Loch Luella Fen Complex (March 2006)
Red tussock fens and swamp in valley floor, closely surrounded by cultivated land, Loch Luella Fen Complex (2008) 2
Lake Luella Fen Complex (February 2011) 51


1 Otago Regional Council (2004) Regional Plan: Water for Otago. Published by the Otago Regional Council, Dunedin.

2 Ausseil, A.G., Newsome, P., Johnson, P. (2008) Wetland Mapping in the Otago Region. Landcare Research Contract Report prepared for the Otago Regional Council.

51 Otago Regional Council – Photo Archive.

80 Rebergen, A. (2002) Reedy Creek proposed QEII Covenant. File RI 120/Object ID 00586137. Otago Regional Council, Dunedin.

Page last updated 12 July 2024.