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Kei Cuttings, also known as the Great Kei Pass, is situated between the towns of Komga and Butterworth along the N2.

Distance 11.8 km
Gradient average 1:13
Gradient maximum 1:9
Elevation at Bridge 159m
Surface Tar Road

Two immediate observations about this Pass are firstly that Kei Cuttings is not a Pass driven to find the lookout point at the summit, but rather the lookout point at the Bridge, and secondly that the Pass unfortunately has an unenviable record of serious accidents.

The road both east and west of the Kei River Bridge is what is known as Kei Cuttings or the Kei River Pass and the route winds though a twisting valley and up steep slopes on which it often rains. Accidents here are often due to slippery roads, high mists and wandering cattle.

Kei Cuttings was constructed around 1955, at a time when it was considered state of the art engineering in road building terms and despite the prevalence of accidents, the drive is a beautiful one as it slices through the mountain sides in cut-aways!

A highlight of the route is the stop at the Kei River where you can take a short walk to view the old and rusty steel girdered road bridge built by the engineer Joseph Newey. This site also offers some interesting views of the river and the surrounds. Stop at the Fuel Station on the eastern bank of the river to take this short path to the bridge.

The Kei Cuttings Pass lies just inland of the Wild Coast and the Kei River Mouth near Morgan Bay and Chintsa.

Thing to do and see

  • Great Kei River Bridge
  • Great Kei River
  • Restaurant, at Bridge
  • Scenic Mountain Views


Free to Drive

Best during daylight hours

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