Mt Cargill is an easily accessible peak from Dunedin City. The mountain can be approached from a number of directions, including walking from Bethunes Gully or via Mt Cargill Road and the impressive Organ Pipes rock formation (both about 4 hours return). On a fine day there are views of Otago Harbour and Dunedin.
|Location/List||South Island, New Zealand|
|Location Coordinates||45? 48′ 47″ S, 170? 33′ 18″ E|
To get to Mt Cargill Road
From Dunedin, drive north on George Street to the Gardens and turn left into North Road. Follow North Road and turn right up the hill at the Normanby Tavern. Climb up the road until you reach a fork and take the sharp left hand turn. Continue to the Peninsula Lookout (which you pass) and on to the Organ Pipes carpark.
To get to Bethunes Gully
From Dunedin, drive north on George Street to the Gardens and turn left into North Road. Follow North Road until the road turns right, then continue up the valley by Norwood Street. Turn left into Bethunes Gully, and travel a short way down a gravel drive to the carpark.
Google Earth Map
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NZ Topographic Map
Our Recommended Route
From Mt Cargill Road via the Organ Pipes
Start from the Organ Pipes carpark on Mt Cargill Road. The track zig zags up through bush along the side of the hillside, and is consequently nice and cool in hot weather! Eventually you reach a spot along the track where you can get a good view of the Organ Pipes formation, and further on you can get a bit closer to them. The Organ Pipes are an impressive example of columnar jointed basalt (volcanic rock). When the volcanic rock cooled at the time, it cracked along long joints and consequently looks much like organ pipes standing up. Ocassionally rocks will tumble down, so be careful and don’t walk out underneath the Organ Pipes themselves!
Continue along the track toward Mt Cargill. The track crosses a boggy saddle between Mt Holmes and Buttars Peak. Eventually you emerge on to a saddle between Buttars Peak (which you can also bag if you feel inclined!) and the main summit. Here the track also meets the track coming from the Bethunes Gully. Follow the track up the north side of the Mountain until you meet the AH Reed Track and get to the summit. A return trip from Mt. Cargill Road takes about 4 hours.
From Bethunes Gully
From Bethunes Gully, begin walking on the track which goes to the left of the picnic area. The track follows Lindsay Creek for a way and then crosses it. You then head into pine plantation and native bush as the track ascends. Climb to a gully with a bridge and a small waterfall. Shortly after this you’ll come across a small loop track with a resting spot, and a view of Mt Cargill. After a rest (if you desire!) continue along the main track which continues up toward Mt Cargill. The track eventually sidles along one side of the Mt Cargill itself and emerges on to a saddle between Buttars Peak (which you can also bag if you feel inclined!) and the main summit. Here the track also meets the track coming from the Organ Pipes. Follow the track up the north side of Mt Cargill until you meet the AH Reed Track and get to the summit. A return trip from Bethunes Gully takes about 4 hours.
Weather and Webcam Links
A Walking Guide to Dunedin – Detailed Maps and Directions for 13 Walks, First Edition 2002, Silver Peaks Press.