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Dunedin professional runner Anna Frost has competed in
the some of the toughest trail and mountain races in the world.
However, when she is home, she enjoys getting out on her early
training grounds - the hills and beaches around the city. Here,
Frost shares the first of her favourite runs in the city, a
climb to Mt Cargill from Bethunes Gully.
From Bethunes Gully to Mt Cargill and back (sometimes I add
on a trip down to the Organ Pipes).
Difficulty level: Hard. Quite steep and rocky near the
Walk time: 3-3 hours. Anna's estimated run time
Best thing: The amazing 360-degree views of Dunedin
and the beautiful smell of the pine trees at the bottom of
Caution: It is often extremely windy and cold at the
top of Mt Cargill, even when it looks nice, so take a
GETTING THERE: From the Octagon, travel north along George St
under the overbridge and turn left on to North Rd at the
Gardens Shopping Centre. Continue up Northeast Valley,
veering left on to Norwood St and turn left into the Bethunes
Gully picnic area, along a gravel road.
THE RUN: This track starts at the Bethunes Gully carpark and
travels alongside Lindsay Creek. It is effectively a stiff
climb up a well-graded track.
From the carpark, take the track which skirts the left side
of the grassed picnic area. The track then continues up the
valley and skirts another grass area before crossing Lindsay
Begin climbing by entering a pine plantation, which then
leads to a fenceline and native bush. Continue climbing up to
a bridge and a small waterfall. A further climb leads through
the first of four swing gates.
An option here is to take a loop track, which drops below the
main track, providing a resting spot and a view of Mt Cargill
The main track continues climbing steadily to another small
gully before reaching a clearing with views across the valley
and Mt Cargill. The track then re-enters bush and begins to
traverse the right-hand side of the main summit.
Finally, the track emerges into the saddle between Buttars
Peak and the main summit, meeting the track to the Organ
Pipes. The track leads around to the north side of the
mountain, then a climb up some large steps to the junction
with the A.H. Reed Track.
From here, it is a short final climb to the summit. Return to
Bethunes Gully over the same route. The good news is it is
TO THE ORGAN PIPES: Return from the Mt Cargill summit and
turn left at the track to Buttars Peak and the Organ Pipes.
The track crosses a boggy saddle between Buttars Peak and Mt
Holmes. Return back to the main Mt Cargill track and back
down to Bethunes Gully.
Track information sourced from Dunedin Tracks and Trails by
Antony Hamel and pamphlets available from the Dunedin City