Church Hill Wetland Complex

Description: A notable fault-determined basin wetland complex occurs east of the lower Polnoon Burn, and runs south to nearly Stockyard Creek. 90

Type/Class: Bog, fen, and tarn. 2

Size: 102.2 ha.

Altitude: 700 - 780 m above sea level.

Approximate location: Northeast of the northern end of the Branches Road, 16 km North of Macetown.
NZTM (centre point): E1262570 N5041630.

Regional Plan: Water for Otago | Schedule 9 Regionally Significant Wetland, no.25, Map F6.

Territorial Authority: Queenstown Lakes District Council.


Interactive map of Church Hill Wetland Complex

Recorded Values

Value Description
A1 Habitat for nationally or internationally rare or threatened species or communities. Presence of Carex rubicunda (Threatened - Nationally Vulnerable), Lobelia perpusilla (Naturally Uncommon). 90
A3 High diversity of wetland habitat types. Wetland includes bog, fen, shallow water (tarn) and ephemeral wetlands. 90
A5 Scarce in Otago in terms of its ecological or physical character. Ephemeral wetland. 90
A7 High diversity of indigenous wetland flora and fauna. Good range of indigenous herbaceous plants including regionally uncommon plants. 90
A2, A4, A6, A8, A9 No relevant information is currently held by the ORC.


Other Information:


  • At the top of the complex, a deep tarn has a fringe of Carex secta, C. gaudichaudiana and C. sinclairii, with an occasional woody element of Olearia odorata and Gaultheria antipoda. Submerged wood suggests a much greater shrub or tree cover in the past. Its outlet feeds into a Schoenus pauciflorus dominated fen at lower elevation. Within this system are areas of slightly raised bog dominated by Oreobolus pectinatus, Gaultheria parvula, Anisotome “bog” and sundew (Drosera arcturi). Lower still is a small impounded pond with red pondweed (Potamogeton cheesemanii), sharp spike rush (Eleocharis acuta) and Myriophyllum triphyllum. 90

  • Between Church Hill Creek and Carmichaels Creek is an ephemeral tarn with an abundant fringing turf of Galium perpusillum, Hydrocotyle microphylla, Lobelia perpusilla, and Epilobium angustum. Other even larger examples occur south of Carmichaels Creek. These too are dominated by the regionally uncommon Lobelia perpusilla and Epilobium angustum. The threatened sedge Carex rubicunda occurs at one location. These tarns rely on periodic filling from downslope wash during heavy rain events. 90

  • The integrated complex of ecosystems present here is significant for invertebrate fauna. Insects noted here and in many smaller flats and wetlands on the lease are representative of eastern South Island and include a few Otago-mid Canterbury endemic species. Some rare insects are likely present. 90

  • Koaro native fish have been found in Carmichaels Creek. 90



Aerial View of Church Hill Wetland Complex (February 2006)



Church Hill Wetland Complex 90



Ephemeral wetland turf, Church Hill Wetland Complex 90



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.

90 Department of Conservation (2010) Comments on the Consultative Draft Proposed Plan Change 2 (Regionally Significant Wetlands) to the Regional Plan: Water for Otago. Department of Conservation - Otago Conservancy, Dunedin.

Page last updated 12 July 2024.