Ross Creek Reservoir, Dunedin, OTAGO

This is one of my favourite places to regularly walk in Dunedin. (Do I say that about every walk? This one I try to do most trips to our home-away-from-home). We even had some wedding photos taken here in the bush, although we were behind schedule so missed out on photos by the reservoir itself (see the very bottom of this post for some wedding pics, and here a pic of here when we first started dating).

The reservoir itself was built in 1867 and is one of New Zealand’s first water reservoirs (and is still in use today!). There are so many track options, (of varying lengths and terrain), you can take the dog, and the reservoir is beautiful in all conditions.

Track Facts:

I tried to find track info online, but it was really hard. And then when I got there they had the most beautiful and informative signs at all the entryways. Here it is, everything you want to know about track options and lengths:

  • Dog friendly
  • The whole place is kid friendly-but I’d probably only take a pram to do the reservoir loop
  • Most of it is easy walking, with some slightly more challenging uphill on the Craigieburn and school creek loops. The reservoir loop is flat.
  • I think the dotted lines on the map above are harder tracks, though I haven’t done them in a long time so i can’t vouch for any of them. If you’re just wanting a nice easy walk I would recommend sticking with the solid lines (do one, two, or even all three depending on how long you want to go for).
  • There are lots of car parks available. I would recommend either the one on Burma Road (more of a top car park), or Rockside Road (bottom access).

The Track:

There’s not much more to say about the track, other than what I’ve outlined above. But there are some interesting things to watch out for along the way.

For example, this little ruin, which use to be a farm shed for storage and milking cows. It was built (quickly) sometime between 1860 and 1872 by William and Elizabeth Raiken, some early farmsteaders in the area.

This little art work of a Koura (crayfish) also caught my eye.

Also, this year was the first time I’d seen the “All From Water” art installation, which I believe was installed over 2020 and 2021. It is a beautiful work by artists Katrina Thomson and Ross Sinclair, comprising of 77 stars mirroring the constellations seen in the Southern night sky including Matariki, Te Puka (Southern Cross) and Te Toki A Maui (Orion).

“Stars and the cosmos provide a great sense of awe and wonder, they remind us of the beauty of our own make-up, and of our own reflection in the vastness. We hope the composition will look is as if the stars have been showered down onto the landscape, embedding into the rocks, symbolising the world above, and the reflected world below” -Thomson and Sinclair

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