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Fertile highly modified valley floor (orchards, inigated pasture), Dumbarton Rock and other rock bound sections, Pinders Pond and Island Hill, kanuka woodland, Teviot Woolshed


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This section is the southern most section in the Central Otago range and basin terrain.

At Roxburgh there is very little gap between the north-south trending Old Man fault block mountain range and the western margin of the expansive central peneplain block, a pinch point. The Clutha here has cut its way through bedrock forming a short but very scenic rocky gorge and short ribs of rock separated by narrow fingers of alluvial lnflll stretch south from the township for almost 1 km.

The Old Man Range has curved broadly around to a distinct spur above Roxburgh, now it changes direction and the range trends directly north south. This is the boundary between the Old Man and Umbrella Land types.

Downstream of Roxburgh a large down-faulted depression created along the Old Man Fault forms a wide open north-south aligned basin, the Teviot valley. The basin is essentially rectangular in shape Skm wide and 6km long .. To the west, it is bounded by the 1000-1100m high steep scarp of the Old Man Range and the lower scarp of the Moa Flat block, which forms a rolling elevated plateau edge some 300-400m asl to the south as well. To the east the deeply weathered westward dipping central Otago peneplain encloses, a region of strongly rolling, loess covered, dissected hill country gradually increasing in height eastwards to 300-400m on the skyline. Low rolling spurs of rock show through a thin post-glacial veneer of alluvium close to the river. All the bedrock is Caples terrane schist. Whilst. the Old Man Range summit is tor studded, with peri-glacial conditions, the lower eastern hill country is largely tor free south of the Teviot river due to the absence of the special weathering conditions needed to produce them.

The enclosing valley sides are mostly shallowly dissected, streams on the eastern side tending to be of more irregular course. Apart from the deeply entrenched Teviot River tributary, Ruby Creek is the only larger stream entering on the true left. All streams on the true right are small although at the southern end of the valley the multi-basin, north flowing catchment of Benger Burn empties onto the valley floor west of Ettrick and follows the base of the hill to the Clutha forming a wide shallow channel floodplain, whIch has been dredged in the past. Black Jacks Creek on the Old Man Range north of Dumbarton is a noticeable deep gully incised in the hillside. Extensive slumping producing a finer textured ripply to hummocky terrain has occurred across the range slopes, producing dramatiC visual effects in clear low light conditions.

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Downstream of Roxburgh the terrain and the river course is more complex. There are areas of more resistant rock forming rock ribs and the isolated conical Island Hill, and rocky spurs extending close to the river at Pinders Pond and Dumbarton. These hard rock areas alternate with small basins of




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Photos eloekwlss from above:

Short rock bound section of river lies immediately downstream of RoXburgh bridge, a very scenic section

Stretch of the Clutha River just below Roxburgh, with the toe of the conical rocky form of Is'land Hill visible bottom right,

P,inders Pond visible in the middle.

The Teviot valley, looking up-river with the Old Man Range in the background, Basin floor is extensively modified, with orchards, irrigated pasture. cropping.

View looking down-river through the Teviot valley to Ettrick where the river meets the Moa Flat Hills; lower rocky flanks ofthe Teviot hills and L'ammerlaw range on the left

Photos gol,ng down:

Teviot woolshed ruin, the largest built in the' Southern Hemisphere

Pinders pond, a 'large dredg.e pond now a popular fishing and swimming hole

View down river from Roxburgh bridge

Dumbarton IRock, an impressive and vivid natural feature









alluvial fin such as Hercules Most of these have been dredged, the last effort fanning the deep trench of Pinders Pond. The trench has filled with water providing a swimming and fishing hole in association with a picnic area. The foot slopes of the enclosing ranges have been over-steepened and shaped into broad curves by past river action in this stretch.

Opposite Pinders Pond, alluvial fan material coming from below Mt Benger has pushed the river over hard against the eastern bedrock, the rock face worked by the water into a curve echoing the form of the conical fan. Dumbarton Rock. just downstream of Pinders Pond is a much smaller but striking rock outcrop on the edge of the channel.


Downstream of Dumbarton, the valley opens out and there is a wide plain of post-qlaclal alluvium but the river is entrenched in it and there is little recent floodplain. Altitude is around 80-200m asl. The river forms a narrow single thread channel with cobble and gravel banks, flowing ina broad shallow S through the basin. Gravel bars and small rock islands are present .along its length but are few in number. The alluvium is mostly fairly recent but older deposits from up to five different ages are present on the true left building back up to the rolling spurs. These have been weathered and dissected to form low rol.ling country .. A small patch of Tertiary sediments of the Manuherikia group is present about the Three Brothers Road where it leaves the valley. On the true right piedmont fans truncated in the past bya south flowing river form a distinctive elevated shelving terrace.



Thjs section of the river enjoys a less extreme climate than the Cromwell to Roxburgh sections and towards the southern end it is more sub-humid with rainfall increasing to 700-800mm per annum. Summers are still hot and dry however with many clear days; and winter radiation fog is present here too. Summer thunder plumps are also common. The area is subject to intense winter frosts but is free of late spring frosts. This factor combined with the wann conditions November to April; suitable soils under 260m altitude; and availabi.lity of irrigation water are conducive conditions for stone fruit and food crop growing. Orchards and associated infrastructure are a prominent feature of the valley floor, forming a colourful rectilinear mosaic with cultivated and irrigated paddocks of pasture and fodder crop, many lined with coniferous or poplar/willow shelter belts. The rich greens of the valley floor are a contrast to the brown grey hill slopes surrounding.


Pastoral farming ranging from intensive on the valley floor with its LUC Class III lands to semi-intensive on cultivated easy rolling 'spurs (Class IV lands) to extensive grazing on the tussock and scrub rangelands is the dominant land use however (Class VI and VII lands, the most common).

The vegetation cover is generally highly modified and dominated by exotics. Broom is widespread on rockier and steeper terrain along withkanukaand matagouri. A dense patch of mature kanuka woodland is a notable feature on lsland Hill, On the higher range slopes short tussock grading in to snow tussock is the main cover. Cultivated pasture is present surprisingly high on the range however forming bright green organically shaped patches amidst the brown expanse of browntop and tussock.

Trees area prominent element on the valley floor and lower range slopes, occurring in belts, small woodlots and clumps. Pines, poplars and willows are the most prevalent species, along with fruit trees. Willows are ever present lining the Clutha River and invading the disturbed dredged areas alongside together with broom. A feature on the Old Man Range is a remnant patch of beech forest.

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The Clutha is roughly the boundary between the Waikaia and Central' Otago Ecological Regions - the val.ley fill areas are put into the drier warmer Central Otago region.


Cultural features are largely associated with orcharding and stock fanning - access roads, dwellings and gardens, sheds, fences, stock yards, irrigators. The town of Roxburgh sits on the northern edge at the pinch point, and the settlement of Ettrick is situated at the south end. Four or five pylon lines stride through the valley southwards from the Roxburgh Dam.

Gold mining was widespread in the 1860-early 1900's period as elsewhere along the river. Cultivation since has destroyed much of the ear1y mining evidence. Around 1900 there were a number of dredges working the river. The most visible relicts now being dredge tailings and ponds, the biggest being Pinders P.ond, and the occasional historic building or mature tree.

Overall the Teviot valley landscape has a well settled productive atmosphere. The highly developed valley floor, bisected by the Clutha River, contrasts strongly with the tawny more natural valley sides.

Roxburgh to Hercules - smalJ scale picturesque rocky gorge Flat

Hercules Flat to Island Hill

Island Hill to Pinders Pond

- alternating flat aliluvial areas (developed) witli rocky scrub covered hill

- alluvial terraces an true left backed by rolling rocky hill eountry: high steep range lands on true right

Pinders Pond to Dumbarnon

- fan deposits fonn true right basin fleor baoked by high steep range slopes; rocky rolling hill country on true left

- open flat basin floor of outwash; single thread willow lined channel il'1 one gentle curve, surreunded by intensively developed lame

- highly oeveleped flat basin floor on true nght, orchards and pasture); rolling rocky hills on true left with small areas of fill developed for pasture

Dumbarton to Teviot

Teviot to Ettrick

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Mix of natural (rock outcrop) and cultural sites (dredge remains, relict historic buildings including the large Teviot woolshed). Two reserve/picnic areas.





26 Contained major River Valley

23 Knobbys (true left hills)

25 Umbrella (true right range land)

Umbrella District (WAIKAIA REGION), all true right rangelands

Manorburn District (CENTRAL OTAGO REGION), all hill/plateau country on true left and including basin floor

Basin and Range Land SR3 (Roxburgh), range crest to range crest

10 Dunstan (Old Man Range from Mt Benger northward) and

9 Dunrobin (Mt Senger southward -lower fault block range, Moa Flat Hilts) 13 Lammerlaw to the east, all true left plateau land

(river broadly separates east and west, basin floor appears to be in 9 and 10)

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variable moderate, high

higher degree of naturalness over range slopes with extensive grazing use based on AOSTD short tussock grassland; dominance of natural elements in natural patterns. As terrain becomes lower in altitude and more rolling, naturalness decreases with increase in cultivated areas, shelter planting, subdivision into paddocks, etc.

Distinctiveness moderate Vividness


within the Tevlot valley floor this quality is generally low although the intensity of orchard development is distinctive of the central otago area. The broad structure of the valley is memorable particularly the high steep scarp of the Old Man Range and its piedmont bench of truncated fans (under cultivated pasture) The strong contrast between flat highly modified green valley floor and steep relatively undeveloped brown range slopes is a more vivid image. Rolling terrain to the east is less remarkable. Discreet rock outcrops in the river landscape are more distinctive and memorable as is the rocky gorge between Roxburgh and Pinders Pond.



developed valley floors flanked by fault block mountains are repeated through the course of the river, although each basin has its own character due to climate and the structural shape of the basin and extent of horticultural use relative to pastoral use. A single thread willow lined channel in outwash plain is typical of the Alexandra, Roxburgh and Teviot basins. Alternating hill and pockets of flat depositional topography between Roxburgh and Pinders Pond is less common but is repeated in more developed form downstream at Rigney.





the overall tectonic structure of the basin is clear, with strong contrast between range slope and valley floor. Intensive development of the basin floor tends to mask landform patterns and has removed natural vegetation patterns and legibility values are lower. Rocky areas with relict channel landforms are areas of higher legibility although extensive development on the flat areas in between and extensive tree cover limits it. Willow stringers weaken legibility as the natural bank forms are hidden from view. Dredged areas and gravel pits have no legibility value,





at a broad scale the pattern of land use reflects the different landforms and makes sense. Within the valley floor however coherence values weaken due to the widespread intensive development where geometric patterns of orchards and paddocks do no reflect the finer details of landform patterns or any natural vegetation patterns. They are a cultural pattern superimposed over the natural pattern. The repetition of elements in the same patterns does give overall unity to the basin floor character however. Discordant elements are geometric filed patterns unrelated to natural patterns; gravel workings; conifer woodlots on the hillsides; and fence lines, tracking and roads on sloping land where it does not follow natural landform.

Complexity Diversity


the river follows a simple curving course through outwash plain which for the most part offers little mystery and visual interest. The almost continual stringer of trees along the

Mystery river does create mystery to some extent but it tends to be
a 'negative ' mystery because the reward on gaining a
glimpse through the trees is more of the same and longer
distance views are frustrated by the tree cover. There is a
greater diversity in the surrounding landscape but it tends
to be predictable because of the repetition of elements and
The rocky areas are more visually interesting and invite
Overall the desire to explore and discover is not high over
most of this section.
Open variable intensive development on the valley floor with a small scale
Character low, high landscape pattern and extensive tree planting reduces
open character; compared to the open grasslands and low
intensit~land use of the surrounding range lands.
Openness variable similarly openness is much reduced on the basin floor due
low, high to the frequency of buildings. The value is high on the
surrounding range slopes, where semi-intensive to
extensive pastoralism is the main land use.
Solitude low sense of separation from intensive land uses and human
activity, traffic and domestic development is not high along
this section as these uses are typical of the river landscape
corridor. Roads are very close to the river in some
Landscape MODERATE
Quality Natural Character

As with the previous section, natural character is moderately low (valley floor) to moderate (lower hill country) to high (range summit areas) over this section of the river.

The river landscape corridor is generally highly modified due to intensive pastoral and orchard development. This land use is almost complete in extent through the main part of the valley, using all the available alluvial flats. Whilst many of the elements are products of 'nature' (trees, grass, crops, animals) their patterns of distribution and the processes controlling them are not natural. The orchard areas in particular are artificial in pattern and process.

The river channel itself is of natural appearance although the continuous willow stringer is less than natural even though it is due to the natural process of vegetative reproduction. Rock promontories and islands and the upstream gorge areas are very natural in character.

Natural character is stronger where there is hill terrain, particularly rough rocky and/or steep terrain. Grass cover is less manicured looking and there is self-sown broom, kanuka and matagouri cover in natural patterns.

Natural character strengthens with altitude with increase in indigenous cover (tussock) and fewer fences and no buildings.

Natural character is weakest in the urban area of Roxburgh although the rocky hills around and the river give a sense of a natural setting. In fact, the juxtaposition of strongly non-natural witb strongly natural tends to be mutually enhancinq .


. Threats

• clearance of remaining indigenous cover

• prevention of indigenous cover regaining presence in gullies and on steeper

slopes and along stream

• visible access tracking on hillsides and insensitive fencing

• insensitively sited and designed woodlots

• increased presence of built form and domestic development next to the river

and structures built next to it or across it

• encroachment of orcharding, dairying etc close to the river's edge

• modification of the river channel, gravel extraction

• dredging


• allow regeneration on hillsides

• remove willows and replant with more appropriate species

• open river up to views from the road

• plant out dredge tailings with native species

• maintain a adequate physical buffer to the river from intensive activities

• avoid domestic development or primary industry infrastructure within 100- 200m of the river land


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1 Teviot Woolshed ruin

45 stand stone woolshed, largest in the Southern Hemisphere

2 Teviot Goodshed

intact building on former railway line 3 Dumbarton Rock

impressive natural rock outcrop, higih scenic appeal

4 Pinders Pond

part of large dredge pond, fil.led with water tc form a lake, good for fishing and swimming picnic area

5 Black Jacks Creek recreation reserve 6 Island Hill

prominent distinctive conical hill

with kanuka shrubland on south side 7 Roxburgh East

terminus of Dunedin-Roxburgh railway railway infrastructure still present

8 Lovers Leap - Roxburgh bridge

older bridge piers present, plaque


1 Gravers Hill Walk

local walking track for Roxburgh around rocky hill










May 2006