Head for the hills for a fine view of Dunedin

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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 top.
Walk time: 3-3 hours. Anna's estimated run time 1-1hours.
Best thing: The amazing 360-degree views of Dunedin and the beautiful smell of the pine trees at the bottom of the track.
Caution: It is often extremely windy and cold at the top of Mt Cargill, even when it looks nice, so take a windproof jacket.

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 Creek.

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 summit.
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 downhill.

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 Council.


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