Putangirua Pinnacles viewed from the lookout at the top of the track

Image: Stefan Marks | Creative Commons


Walk to the spectacular Putangirua Pinnacles or further for excellent views of Palliser Bay and Lake Onoke – the shorter options are suitable for kids.

Track overview

Walking and tramping

2 – 4 hr return depending on route Easy: Walking track

Dog access

Dogs allowed. Keep dog under control at all times.

About this track


Three routes lead to the Putangirua Pinnacles or the Pinnacles lookout:

  • Walk up the streambed to where the Pinnacles tower overhead (watch for falling rocks, especially after heavyrain and in strong winds).
  • Take the easily-graded bush walk that starts approximately 10 min along the streambed from the car park. This leads to the loop track junction and on to the lookout above the Pinnacles.
  • For a more direct route to the lookout, walk up the streambed to the base of the Pinnacles and turn left onto the loop track. This track climbs steeply to the lookout and meets up with the bush walk.

For a longer walk with excellent views of Palliser Bay and Lake Onoke, continue uphill from the lookout to a bulldozed track and turn left. It returns you to the coast 300 m from the Pinnacles Road entrance,  Allow 3–4 hr for the return trip.

Getting there

This walk is in Aorangi Forest Park which lies between Martinborough in the north and Cape Palliser in the south. It starts in Putangirua Pinnacles Scenic Reserve which is 13 km along Cape Palliser Road from the Lake Ferry turn-off, approximately one hour’s drive from Martinborough. The turn-off and campsite are 500 m past DOC's bookable Te Kopi Lodges.

Know before you go

  • There may be rockfall in the stream bed - keep a look out.
  • Stream crossings are required - don't cross when flooded.


Kapiti Wellington Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 4 384 7770
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   wellingtonvc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   18 - 32 Manners Street
Postal Address:   PO Box 10420
The Terrace
Wellington 6143
Whakaoriori / Masterton Office
Phone:   +64 6 377 0700
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   masterton@doc.govt.nz
Address:   220 South Road
Postal Address:   PO Box 191
Masterton 5840
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