A sunny day waiting to happen.

Puketapu is a very prominent hill situated in the heart of Palmerston overlooking the Waitaki. Its a short steep climb to the top, but well worth the views. Be warned as the track gets quite rough and steep and there are a few different trails you can take to the top. The hills is quite well known for a few things, for one, the cairn at the top that stands very tall indeed was erected for Sir John McKenzie, who was a local politician that managed to get the large sheep runs broken up to help family's have some land of their own. The monument was first installed on another nearby hill ,Pukehiwitahi, in 1902, but fell to ruin and was then moved to the more prominent Puketapu in the 1920's. Sadly Sir Mckenzie died from bladder cancer in 1901 only 6 weeks after he was knighted. Another reason the hill is known for is during World War Two, Constable Kelly, a local police officer would run up the hill each day to see if any Japaniese ships were close to land. Now each year they hold a running race to the top and back called the Kelly Canter.


Drive along highway one until you reach the town of Palmerston. It's about 30 minutes north of Dunedin. There is a street called Stour St, take that to the right if you are traveling Northbound. At the end of the street is a small Lookout parking area. Stop off here and get ready for a steep hike to the top of the hill. The track is about 30 meters back down the road, you will see a sign and a walking track going over a fence. Please be careful as these tracks pass through farmers land.

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