Sunday, 29 December 2013

Day trips from Wellington - The Pinnacles

Summer is a good time to get out and about with children. This day trip is a long drive from Wellington but worth it for the adventure that it provides.

The Pinnacles are in Putangirua Scenic Reserve, the DOC website tells you how to get there and a bit about the Pinnacles.

My recommendation is to take the route up the stream bed, assuming that the weather is good and there is no flooding! It's rough going but especially for older children there is plenty of interest on the way.
Heading back down the river bed

We came across this rock full of fossilised shells, showing that this place was once under the sea.

And this one.
When you get to the base of the Pinnacles (about half an hour's walk) they are awesome to look at. Over the years the rain and floods have been carving away at the ancient gravels, some are more firmly cemented and resist erosion, leaving these pinnacle formations.
Base of some Pinnacles
Retrace your steps a bit and there is a pathway up to the lookout. This is definitely worthwhile and the path then goes back through a bush track which is easier going.
View from the Lookout
Some of Lord of the Rings was filmed here, so it's a popular tourist destination, but many that we met were only walking up through the bush to the lookout and back again. The stream bed might be harder but it's more rewarding.

We took The Kiwi Fossil Hunter's Handbook by James Crampton and Marianna Terezow with us, which told us all about the fossils in the neighbouring Hurupi Stream.