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Cape Palliser

Rugged Wairarapa coast, seals & walk (1.5hr)


If you like seclusion, rocky coastlines, seals and have your own wheels (and some time up your sleeve), consider a daytrip to Cape Palliser. It will take 1.5hrs each way from Martinborough, but you could easily take a full day if you do some exploring.

Once you hit the coast on Cape Palliser Rd, you’re squeezed between the wild sea and towering cliffs. Close to the road end, keep your eyes open at the Cape Palliser seal colony and make sure to climb the 250 steps up to the Cape Palliser Lighthouse, built in 1897.

Your exploring option is a relatively easy 1.5hr return hike to the Putangirua Pinnacles, badland-type hoodoos that are like massive organ pipes. A spectacular rock formation, they starred as the approach to the Paths of the Dead in Lord of the Rings: The Reurn of the King.

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Cape Palliser

Lord of the Rings & Hobbit

Short Walks



Text © Craig McLachlan

Image by Larry Koester