Sutton Salt Lake

Dunedin City District

New Zealand's only inland salt lake

A great hike for the whole family, lots of cool rocks/tors to climb and the place is really quite picturesque. The lake is about 2 ha in the winter and completely dries up in summer, turns into one of those cool cracked desert lakes. The whole area is a scenic reserve about 143 ha. Also Dogs are not permitted here.


From Dunedin city, head south to Outram and take SH87 over the hills towards Middlemarch. When on the flats near Sutton, turn left onto Kidds Road. 2.5 km up the road take a left into the reserve. From Middlemarch, head towards Dunedin on SH87 and take the right onto Kidds Road, head 2.5 km up and turn left into the reserve.

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Planning is Key

For the summer of 2016/17, I was in charge of planning our summer holidays. What better way to do it than by mapping it around all the places I wanted to go explore in the Maniototo area. But before we get out of the Dunedin district, there was that one place that has always eluded me. The Sutton Salt lake! Just off the main road around Middlemarch was a great scenic reserve to have a short hike and let the kids loose. My Daughter Sequoia was just starting to walk, so thats all she wanted to do.

The hike was really fun, heaps of really cool rock formations to clamber over and jump around on. It was an interesting sort of day with the sun shinning really bright from one direction and to the other was fast flowing fluffy clouds. It made for some really nice photographs. We all wondered around the lake taking in the beauty of the place and headed back to the car for the rest of the road trip.

Does anybody know if I can camp here? - Stu