The Putangirua Pinnacles, or more well known as The Pinnacles are a spectacular rock formation about 2 hours out of Wellington. You may have seen them before on the big screen when they featured in The Lord Of The Rings.
To get to the rocks you have to walk along the Pinnacles track, which is situated in the Aorangi Forest Park. You have two options; a 2 to 4 hour return trip or a 3 to 4 hour walk with views of Palliser Bay and Lake Onoke (these are DOC estimates).
We chose to do the shorter track, and it took us 2 hours – this included plenty of photo stops. Once you park your car I would recommend walking up to the look out via a bush walk, and then from the look out follow the signs that take you to the base of the pinnacles and down to the stream bed. You can then walk upstream and you end up right in the midst of the rock formations. Once you have finished marvelling at them you can follow the stream back down to the car park. Walking along the stream bed was the longest part of the trek because you are walking on stones the whole time. Oh yes and be careful for falling rocks!
While we were in the area we thought we would check out the Cape Pallisser Lighthouse. This is about a 20 minute drive from The Pinnacles. To get to the Lighthouse it required some fitness… about 250 steps to climb. Phew. At least there is a great view at the top while you catch your breath, we were lucky enough to watch a beautiful sunset.
If you have a spare day while you’re in the Wellington region and feel like heading outdoors, I would highly recommend checking out the Pinnacles and the Lighthouse.