Hiking the Harbor Cone Trail, Dunedin

The South Island university city of Dunedin lies adjacent to the stunning Otago Peninsula where Yellow Eyed Penguin, albatross, seals, sea-lion and other wildlife are found. It also offers some of New Zealand's nicest walking trails, a feature of the city often overlooked by visitors. In this blog we focus on one of our favorites, called the Harbor Cone. Allow half a day to complete.

Just a 30-minute drive from the center of Dunedin is the Harbor Cone Track, one of the best trails on the beautiful Otago Peninsula.

The views of the harbor and the green hills surrounding it are spectacular.

The trail starts at the end of Bacon Street, about a 30-minute drive from the city center and easy to find. It starts with a gradual climb up to Highcliff Road, a nice relaxing start. At Highcliff road cross the roadway to rejoin the track before making the final ascent of the Harbor Cone.

At just over 1,000 ft, Harbor Cone is one of the highest points on the Otago Peninsula, the long-extinct remains of a massive volcano that occurred millions of years ago.

The final ascent is quite steep and at the end quite rocky, but the moderately fit should have no problem with it at all.


There are outstanding views from the top, right over the harbor towards the city. Other views are of Taiaroa Head at the far end of the Peninsula and Hoopers Inlet. 


Your camera will be working overtime!

The return is almost all downhill and the total route should be completed in 2 to 3-hours.


The Harbor Cone Trail can be included on our 17 Day 'Amazing Contrasts of New Zealand' suggested itinerary or any tailor made New Zealand itinerary.

Lindsay Barron

Lindsay Barron • Jan 08, 2020