Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
2,296.00 ft (699.82 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
11.20 mi (18.02 km)
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The hike to Mount Cargill and the Organ Pipes is a challenging 11 mile journey offering beautiful vistas and interesting geology. Additionally, the hike is nearby downtown Dunedin, New Zealand, making it easily accessible for visitors. While public transit does not go to the trailhead, the two mile journey down North Road leading from downtown Dunedin to this trailhead is very flat, and hikers can also choose a Lime scooter to reach the start of this trail. Hikers may complete this route as an out-and-back entirely on trails, but the loop route via Mount Cargill Road provides nice variety and a more gradual uphill climb.

After 3 miles on Mount Cargill Road, hikers will reach a junction with the Grahams Bush Scenic Reserve trails to the right and the trail to the Organ Pipes and Mount Cargill to the left. About a half mile further along the trail, there is a short scramble up the Organ Pipes, a distinct columnar jointing feature. This geological phenomenon, consisting of prismatic rock formations clustered together is rather uncommon and is caused by igneous rock contracting as it cools. Continuing along the ridgeline, hikers will traverse scenic Buttar’s Peak before summiting Mount Cargill with beautiful views of the Otago peninsula. A wooded trail then steeply descends to Bethune’s Gully forest park, where hikers can then return down North Road to downtown Dunedin. The well maintained trails also make this adventure suitable for a trail run.

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Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Geological phenomena. Close to downtown Dunedin. Great views.

Cons

Steep trails. No public transportation to trailhead.

Trailhead Elevation

97.00 ft (29.57 m)

Highest point

2,213.00 ft (674.52 m)

Features

Geologically significant
Big vistas

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Nearby Adventures

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