Back Country Tracks
Central Otago Council maintains approximately 400km of back country tracks. These are typically dry weather roads that are formed in areas where winter weather conditions are harsh and challenging topography exists. These are generally used for farm and recreational access. These roads are not maintained during winter.
These roads require a suitable vehicle with the appropriate ground clearance. During extreme weather events, these roads may be difficult and require advanced driving skills. During winter a number of these roads are closed as use during the winter would result in damage to the road. Due to the low volume of traffic on these roads and the cost to all ratepayers to maintain them, these roads are not graded very often and generally have a rough surface.
Back Country Road Closures
Central Otago District Council closes a number of high country roads from the Tuesday following Queen's Birthday weekend to 30 September, with the exception of Old Dunstan Road (from Linnburn Runs Rd to Poolburn Dam) which will reopen on 22 October. This is to prevent damage that would occur to these roads if they were used by vehicles during the winter months.
The following roads are closed annually:
- Lake Onslow Road from Paerau/Styx to the boundary gate at Lake Onslow
- Old Dunstan Road from Paerau Road to Dunedin City Council boundary
- Old Dunstan Road from Linnburn Runs Road to the Poolburn Dam - reopen 22 October 2021
- Nevis Road from Commissioners Creek to the Southland District boundary
- Bridge Huts Road from Bridge 185
- Upper Manorburn Dam Road from the intersection with Aston Road
The roads are legally closed under Section 342 (1)(b) of the Local Government Act 1974 and Clause 13 of the Tenth Schedule, which allow Council to temporarily close and prohibit ordinary vehicular traffic.