Clay Cliffs


This spectacular landscape of high, eroded, remarkable “badland” outcrops will encourage you to wonder how this landscape was formed.

Be humbled as you discover these astounding natural land forms where sharp pinnacles and ridges are divided by steep and narrow ravines.


The Clay Cliffs were first formed as gravels, sand and silt, in fresh waters. The sediments were deposited from around 20 million years ago. They have since been uplifted and tilted by the nearby active Ostler Fault, and eroded. The lower strata represent lake deposits, while the upper section contains ancient river gravels. These river gravels probably eroded off the rising Southern Alps. 

The cliffs are on private land. There's a donation box at the gateway ($5/vehicle). 

Visitors must follow the management directive displayed on the Visitor Information hazard and safety sign at this site.

Note: There are no bathroom facilities at this site and the access road can sometimes be affected by scouring following heavy rain. The trail around the Clay Cliffs area is not suitable for people with mobility issues. 

Please be aware the following hazards following: flash flood, bushfire, slippery track when wet, earthquake (close proximity to an active fault), uneven surface, falling debris and rocks from above. 

Take a virtual tour through Clay Cliffs:

Latitude: -44:29:20.087 Longitude: 169:52:08.271

Moderate walk



Scenic views  & Photo opportunities

The physical address is ​Henburn Road, Omarama. The cliffs are on private land, there is an honesty box at the gate where you can pay an entry fee of $5 per car. The easy hiking trail takes you right into the slot canyon and after a short stroll you are right inside the cliffs.


To get to the cliffs, head north from Omarama for 3km on SH8, turn left onto Quailburn Rd, and then turn left after 3km onto unsealed Henburn Rd (the route is well signposted). Once parked you will have to walk alongside the dirt path for 15 minutes.


Protection and guardianship are at the heart of the Geopark philosophy. We ask you to treat this site with respect, do not remove anything from this site and preserve it for our future generations.