One of the last things I did before leaving Wellington was take a day trip with some friends to The Pinnacles – a natural land formation that is quite unique and impressive. Oh yeah, it was also a LotR film site 😉
Iconic as The Dimholt Road (the path Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli traverse to reach the City of the Dead), the Putangirua Pinnacles are located in Cape Palliser, a 2hr drive from Wellington, and well worth a visit on a nice day! These tall, thin earth pillars (hoodoos) were formed by wind and water erosion, and provide a truly dramatic backdrop – no wonder Sir Peter Jackson used them in Return of the King!
It’s a 45 minute walk along the river bed to get the the towering spires; not a difficult hike, but it is over rough terrain.
After we’d explored the bottom, we ventured to the lookout point. The day was so clear I could see mountains on the South Island!
To make a proper day trip of things, I highly recommend swinging by Martinborough on your way back. It’s a tiny town, but with numerous wineries, and on a stunning, sunny day, it’s well worth a stop. Palliser Estate is my favorite winery in the area. Martinborough Vineyard and Ata Rangi are two other good ones. (Martinborough Vineyard also does a standout gin.) However, due to the time of year, not everything was open, and not everywhere serves food. We ended up visiting Margrain Vineyard for food and drink. Sitting outside, enjoying a yummy spread and good wine, Julia was a very happy gal.
I am filled with immense joy and fierce love thinking of the wonderful friends I have in my life; those unique souls who play such an instrumental part in forming beautiful, lifelong memories and just generally make me a better human. ❤