Home / Trips / Otago

Mt Cargill Walk, Dunedin

From Norwood St. The Normanby bus terminus is 1.3km from Bethune's Gully. The Organ Pipes can also be reached from Mt Cargill Rd (20min) or from the Cowan Rd and the summit of Mt Cargill (40min)
GPX File
Mt Cargill Walk (gpx, yo 5 KB)
Your device does not support GPX files. Please try a different device.

At 676m, Mt Cargill is one of the hills that dominates Dunedin,s skyline. The track begins by meandering through a popular picnic area before crossing Lindsay Creek and starting to gain height with a vengeance.

The initial section passes through a pine plantation, and is crisscrossed with death-defying but popular mountain bike tracks. As the track gains altitude, the pines are replaced with native forest, with broadleaf or kapuka prominent. This is the species which gives Cargill its Maori name, Kapukataumahaka, which refers to the snaring of pigeons as they ate kapuka berries.

When Mt Cargill comes into view, capped with its imposing television transmitter tower, there is still plenty of altitude to gain before reaching the summit. At a track junction in a saddle, head right for the Organ Pipes, a collection of basalt columns of volcanic origin. Five minutes on, a sign indicates a detour up a rough track to Buttars Peak. This is a worthy side trip to a raised rocky outcrop some 200m across and is better known as the Organ Pipes. To the west is Mt Cargill (676m). On a clear day, there are great views to be had in all directions.

Returning to the main track, descended towards the slopes of Mt Holmes (575m), dropping down some slippery boardwalk sections. Then return the way you came to the road end, perhaps taking in the short climb to Mt Cargill summit.

Support Wilderness

Since 1991, Wilderness has had one simple goal: to help Kiwis ‘See more, do more, live more’ of New Zealand.

If you value our mission, please consider subscribing. As a loyal supporter, you’ll receive these benefits:

  • New Zealand’s best outdoor journalism We’ve won multiple awards for our journalism and magazine production.
  • NZ’s best trips. Browse more than 610 trips with downloadable maps and route notes.
  • Trustworthy gear reviews. Each month we review gear we’ve been bashing and thrashing for months so you can determine if its worth your money.
  • Member benefits. Our WildCard provides discounts at more than 20 partners throughout New Zealand.
  • Your support goes a long way. Your subscription will help us fund NZ’s best outdoor journalists and writers and ensure Wilderness will be there to inspire the next generation of outdoor Kiwis.

A subscription costs as little as $7.00/month for instant access to all articles, trips, gear reviews and gear guides.

View all our subscription options and join the club.

Already a subscriber? Login Now.