Owhiro Bay Quarry

Location:  South coast 

Suitable for: Walking, cycling, four-wheel driving (4WD)

Brief description: Owhiro Bay Quarry is at the beginning of an easy walk or off-road cycle ride to Red Rocks and the seal haul-out area at Sinclair Head. This area is also open for 4WD vehicles, other than Sundays when the gate is closed and it is only open for walkers and mountain bikers. The western end of Taputeranga Marine Reserve is below the quarry face.

Parking:  Large landscaped parking area

Toilets and changing facilities:  At the Owhiro Bay Interpretation Centre

Accessibility:  Beyond the old quarry the road is unformed, but mostly flat

Dogs:  Dogs must be kept on a leash

Features: The Interpretive Centre beside the large car park is a former quarry building and has displays on the environment, history and geology of this part of the south coast. There are also toilets in the building. The area outside has been landscaped and contains native coastal plants, pathways and bench seats. It also features the bronze sculpture of a shark (Frenzy) by Colin Webster-Watson.

History: Gravel was first taken from here from 1905, and quarrying began a few years later. After growing public concern over the quarry’s environmental impacts, the Council took over in 2000 after agreeing to a land swap with the owners. The quarry slopes have since been re-contoured to make them look more natural, and have been planted with some of the area’s rare and unique species. The last phase of the restoration work was upgrading the entrance to include a car park and the award-winning Te Kopahou Reserve Interpretation shelter, opened in 2008.