Putangirua Pinnacles

The Wairarapa

Standing like giant organ pipes, these 'hoodoos' were formed by rain washing silt and sand away, exposing the underlying bedrock. It's an eerie landscape, perfectly suited for its starring role as the approach to the Paths of the Dead in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. The car park is signposted off Cape Palliser Rd. From here it’s an easy 1½-hour walk to the lookout, or take the 3½-hour loop track past hills and coastal viewpoints.

The pinnacles stand on the edge of Aorangi Forest Park, a significant wilderness area offering backcountry hiking, camping and DOC huts and cottages. Detailed information is available online or from Martinborough i-SITE.