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Clay Cliffs

Wander among towering clay pinnacles and explore the narrow ravines in this remarkable geological formation on a private property near Omarama. 

Formed by the erosion of a mighty deposit left by a long-gone glacier, Clay Cliffs is a labyrinth of pinnacles and ridges. While in Omarama in New Zealand’s Southern Alps region, go see this awe-inspiring formation set on private land in a scenic location.

Slowly navigate the gravel road that leads to the Clay Cliffs. Let yourself in through the gate to reach the cluster of towering clay-and-gravel formations that looms above you. Leave your car in the car park and walk up to the towering cliffs. As you approach, ponder the fact that these formations are about 2 million years old and that once upon a time a glacier covered these lands.

For a closer look, take a walk into the canyons and ravines formed between the pinnacles and ridges. The paths stretch deeper into the Clay Cliffs and become steeper and narrower as you go. Position yourself beneath a cluster of towers and look up to take in the sheer size of the cliffs. It feels like being in a lofty cathedral formed by nature. Notice how the layers of clay and gravel have been shaped by the patient power of erosion, resulting in the pointy finger-like rocks you see today.

Use your vantage point to take in the surrounding countryside. A river valley stretches out beneath the Clay Cliffs and the hills of the Southern Alps rise in the distance. The changing seasons reward visitors with different sights throughout the year, ranging from wildflowers to snowcapped hills.

The Clay Cliffs are located about 6 miles (10 kilometers) to the west of Omarama. Drop into the Omarama i-Site Visitor Information Centre before going to the Clay Cliffs to get directions and handy tips from the staff ahead of your visit. You can also pay the vehicle admission fee to the site here. If you are visiting outside of office hours, drive directly to the site and take some change with you to put in the honesty box at the entrance. Because the paths leading through the cliffs are steep and can become slippery, wearing sturdy footwear is recommended.


Best Lodging Options Near Clay Cliffs

See all 79 properties near Clay Cliffs
Sierra Motel CA $130
Sierra Motel

Sierra Motel

8 Twizel-Omarama Road, Omarama, Otago
     
    2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in the mountains, this motel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Totara Peak Gallery and Hot Tubs Omarama. Lake Benmore and Clay Cliffs Scenic Reserve are also within 12 miles (20 km).

    Omarama TOP10 Holiday Park CA $103
    Omarama TOP10 Holiday Park

    Omarama TOP10 Holiday Park

       
      2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in Omarama, this campsite is within a 10-minute walk of Totara Peak Gallery and Hot Tubs Omarama. Lake Benmore and Clay Cliffs Scenic Reserve are also within 12 miles (20 km).

      Ahuriri Motels CA $92
      Ahuriri Motels

      Ahuriri Motels

      State Highway 83, Omarama
         
        2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in Omarama, this motel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Totara Peak Gallery and Hot Tubs Omarama. Lake Benmore and Clay Cliffs Scenic Reserve are also within 12 miles (20 km).

        Heritage Gateway Hotel
        Heritage Gateway Hotel

        Heritage Gateway Hotel

        State Highway 8, Omarama
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Omarama, this hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Totara Peak Gallery and Hot Tubs Omarama. Lake Benmore and Clay Cliffs Scenic Reserve are also within 12 miles (20 km).

          BigSky Motels CA $137
          BigSky Motels

          BigSky Motels

          52 Ahuriri Drive, Omarama, North Otago
             
            2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in the mountains, this motel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Totara Peak Gallery and Hot Tubs Omarama. Lake Benmore and Clay Cliffs Scenic Reserve are also within 12 mi (20 km).

            BigSky Bed and Breakfast
            BigSky Bed and Breakfast

            BigSky Bed and Breakfast

            10 Ahuriri Drive, Omarama
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Omarama, this bed & breakfast is within 1 mile (2 km) of Totara Peak Gallery and Hot Tubs Omarama. Lake Benmore and Clay Cliffs Scenic Reserve are also within 12 miles (20 km).

              Countrytime Hotel
              Countrytime Hotel

              Countrytime Hotel

              15 Airport Rd, Omarama
                 
                2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Omarama, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Hot Tubs Omarama and Totara Peak Gallery. Lake Benmore and Clay Cliffs Scenic Reserve are also within 12 miles (20 km).

                Brand New Holiday Home in Omarama Township
                Brand New Holiday Home in Omarama Township

                Brand New Holiday Home in Omarama Township

                3 Cirrus Ln, Omarama, Otago
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in a rural location, this holiday home is within 1 mile (2 km) of Hot Tubs Omarama and Totara Peak Gallery. Lake Benmore and Clay Cliffs Scenic Reserve are also within 12 miles (20 km).