|Basin size||406 sq. km|
|⁃ average||26 cumecs|
The Rees River (Pua hiri) is a headwater tributary of the Clutha/Mata-Au that drains eastward of the main divide of the Southern Alps of New Zealand. Located at the head of Lake Wakatipu, the Rees River runs 41 km and drains an area of 406 km2 and discharges into Lake Wakatipu at Glenorchy. Bound by the Richardson (Whakari) Mountains to the east and the Forbes Mountains to the west, its headwaters exceed 2000 m.a.s.l. and are partially snow covered. The upper parts of the Rees River occupies a formerly glaciated valley that was fed by the Tyndall Glacier, which now drains into the adjacent Dart Valley. Below Rees Saddle the river valley is constrained by a series of steep alluvial fans that are fed from tributary basins. The lithology of the Rees catchment is highly erodible schist of the Aspiring lithologic association. The underlying schist is highly fissive due to its fine-grain, segregated quart-feldspar-mica composition. The Rees valley is covered in indigenous tussock grasses and forest and is a popular location for recreational fly fishing, pack rafting and hiking, including the 4–5 day hike on the Dart-Rees Track. However, the steep topography, easily erodible lithology, proximity to the alpine fault, and intense rainfalls contribute to potential geohazard risks in the region. A debris flow swept away a hiker during a river crossing in an unnamed tributary in the Upper Rees Valley near Cleft Peak in January 2002.
The Rees river and valley get their gazetted name from the high country station, was originally part of the runs established by William Gilbert Rees who was the first sheep farmer in the Wakatipu Basin. Ownership of the station has been in the Scott family since 1905 and the Rees Valley Station is maintained in perpetuity as a part of Crown Pastoral Lease. The lower Rees Valley, which continues to operate as a beef and sheep grazing farm, but was also used as a filming location for Mission: Impossible – Fallout, and television drama series Top of the Lake.
- Cook, Simon J.; Quincey, Duncan J.; Brasington, James (2 January 2014). "Geomorphology of the Rees Valley, Otago, New Zealand". Journal of Maps. 10 (1): 136–150. doi:10.1080/17445647.2013.863744. ISSN 1744-5647.
- Turnbull, I. M. (2000). Geology of the Wakatipu Area, Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences 1:250,000 geological map 18. 1 sheet + 72 p. Lower Hutt, New Zealand, Institute of Geological and Nuclear Limited.
- McSaveney, M.J., Glassey, P.J. 2002. The fatal Cleft Peak debris flow of 3 January 2002, Upper Rees Valley, West Otago Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences science report 2002/03. 28 p.
- "Rees-Dart Track". Department of Conservation.
- Reed, A. W. (1975). Place names of New Zealand. Wellington: A.H. & A.W. Reed Ltd. p. 357
- "A cruise in Queenstown". Otago Daily Times. 2018.
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