The second part of the Old Dunstan Rd is through even rougher country. The landscape is rockier and sharper, with large schist outcrops. Matagouri mingles with the tussock as you climb to the Rough Ridge at 1000m. From here the view is barren and treeless, rough hills interspersed with swamps and waterways.
Descending from the ridge you pass Poolburn Reservoir, another irrigation dam. Fishermen’s ‚cribs‘ are a good sign, but the only shelter for camping comes from big rocks. The road is better from here, a legacy of the need to bring heavy machinery in to build the irrigation dam.
Along parts of the route you will see the odd stone fencepost – these are common in the more barren parts of Central Otago because there were no trees for making timber posts.
HOW TO GET THERE
Turn into Linnburn Rd 12km south of Patearoa or 15km north of Paerau.
G42 (Alexandra), H42 (Waipiata)
E >W. Start at H42 709372
Much rougher than the Clarks Junction to Paerau section. Gravel, grass and some rutted muddy sections.
Source: 4WD South Island Volume 1 (Ken Sibly & Mark Wilson)