Clay Cliffs Scenic Area, Omarama

Omarama: Clay Cliffs and Hot Tubs

A soak in a wood-fired hot tub filled with the fresh water from the nearby mountains? Sign me up, Omarama! 

An introduction to Omarama

Omarama is a small town south of Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park and northeast of Wanaka and Queenstown. With its central location, Omarama is an ideal stop-over whilst exploring the Canterbury and Otago regions of the South Island. 

For an active adventure, Omarama sits on the Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail and is also a popular spot for gliding. 

We opted for a mix of activities during our February 2 – 3, 2020 stop-over on our New Zealand campervan adventure: wandering through the Clay Cliffs Scenic Area and relaxing in the Omarama Hot Tubs

Highlights of Omarama

Clay Cliffs Scenic Area

The clay cliffs are made of layers of gravel and silt deposited by glacial rivers 1-2 million years ago. This makes the cliffs much younger than the other natural features of the area; the neighboring mountains are 250 million years old. The clay cliffs remind me of Badlands National Park in South Dakota.

NOTE: The clay cliffs are located on private land. A donation box (5 NZD per vehicle) is located at the entrance gate.

There is a short 100 meter walk to the base of the clay cliffs. From there you can wander through the ravines surrounded by the clay pinnacles.

Hot Tubs Omarama

If you’re looking for a relaxing experience then look no further than Hot Tubs Omarama. We had two hours of private bliss in a wood-fired hot tub with views of the mountains reflected in the on-site pond. 

Hot Tubs Omarama also offers sauna and therapeutic massages. Check out the Hot Tubs Omarama website for more information, pricing, and reservations.

Camping in Omarama

We suggest using the information and bountiful reviews in the CamperMate app to find campsites suitable for your situation and inline with your expectations. This is the freedom campsite we stayed at in Omarama: 

Ahuriri Bridge Campsite, Omarama

New Zealand Planning and Resources

If you’re planning for your vacation or holiday in New Zealand, more resources – including our trip map with points of interest and camping spots – can be found in our New Zealand planning and resources post.

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