Putangirua Pinnacles


Putangirua Pinnacles


South Wairarapa, Wairarapa, New Zealand


Walk up a riverbed to see the amazing Pinnacles






There is a choice of loop track up through the bush to a lookout, and then descending down the riverbed at the base of the pinnacles - or you can walk directly up the riverbed (which is quicker). Although it is a riverbed there isn't usually much water around.

The pinnacles are large crumbly rock stalagmite type structures rising tens of metres into the air. They are left behind as the surrounding area erodes. It is spookily eerie to wander around them - just take care as bits of rock are constantly falling off.

The track shown is the loop track through the bush. Just before the lookout and descent to the riverbed, there is a t-junction and the track continues up behind the pinnacles joining into a 4WD track (which goes on further to a DOC hut in the bush). After descending to the riverbed it is a further 15 - 20 minute walk up into the pinnacle area proper if you want to go up. The riverbed is uneven and stony. If you want to do the bush track you need to watch for the entry and exit carefully from the riverbed as the entrances quickly get overgrown with bush.

The DOC sign says to allow 3-4 hours for the loop walk. You can do the bush loop and back along the riverbed in about 1.5 hours, but allow more time to wander up and around the Pinnacles.

Putangirua Pinnacles

Getting there

Driving only. Take the road to Lake Ferry from Martinborough and turn off left to Cape Palliser. The Pinnacles are signpost on the left just before a bridge about 18 km from the turn-off. (Look out for the cute Burnside Church a few km south of Pirinoa).

Other notes

Camping is permitted in the Pinnacles carpark area.




Single track


gain209m loss209m begin15m end224m

Last modified

29 Jul 2009 by Jonny

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