Cass Mountain Research Area
The Cass Mountain Research Area (CMRA) consists of 1775 ha of eastern South Island mountain land located in the Cass River basin, upper Waimakariri River catchment, North Canterbury. Sometimes referred to as the Cass Field Station (or earlier as the Canterbury College Mountain Biological Station) or as the Cass Scientific Reserve, the research area is wholly owned and operated by the University of Canterbury. The CMRA is located on part of the land that was given to the University of Canterbury (as the Canterbury College) by the then Provincial Government as ‘an endowment for the promotion of superior education’.
The CMRA comprises two prominent peaks, Cass Hill (1098m) and Sugarloaf (1359m), as well as river terraces and alluvial fans.
The Cass Basin forms part of the mid-Waimakariri intermontane river basin in the central South Island and provides a very wide range of environments - montane grasslands, scrub, riverbed, scree, beech forest, swamp, bog, lake, stream and alpine habitats can all be reached by day trips on foot. In addition, day trips by vehicle can be made to the subalpine and alpine habitats of the Craigieburn Range or Arthurs Pass on the main divide of the Southern Alps. The University of Canterbury Cass field station is located on the CMRA and bookings can be made through the Cass Field Station website.