Hiking the Harbour Cone Trail, Dunedin. A spectacular half-day adventure.

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 make their homes. It also offers some of New Zealand's best walking trails, a feature of the city often overlooked by visitors. In this blog we focus on one of our favorites, called the Harbour Cone Trail.

Just an easy 30-minute drive from the center of Dunedin is the Harbour Cone Trail, one of the best trails on the beautiful Otago Peninsula.

English botanist, television presenter, author and environmental campaigner Sir David Bellamy described the Otago Peninsula as “one of the finest examples of eco-tourism in the world”. A great way to enjoy spectacular views of the harbor and the surrounding green hills of the peninsula is to walk the Harbour Cone Trail.

At just over 1,000 ft, it's one of the highest points on the Otago Peninsula, the long-extinct remains of a dormant volcano that last erupted millions of years ago.

The final ascent is quite steep and at the end quite rocky, but the moderately fit should have no problems at all in reaching the summit.


There are outstanding views from the summit, including Taiaroa Head, seen in the distance. 


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 Harbour 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