Off the Beaten Track to... Cape Palliser
Pack your tramping (hiking) boots and head to the southernmost point of the North Island to Cape Palliser, where you can climb to the top of the Cape Palliser lighthouse for spectacular views of the coast and South Island, see a breeding colony of fur seals and spend time exploring Aorangi Forest Park.
The remote and romantic coastline of Cape Palliser is rich in Māori and early European history and offers travellers a wonderful opportunity to explore an area of stunning natural beauty.
Things To Do
Cape Palliser Lighthouse – Climb up the 250 steps to this 18-metre high, candy-striped lighthouse and you'll be rewarded by wonderful views of the coast and the South Island. Since the steps replaced a steep, dangerous and sometimes deadly climb, Cape Palliser is now one of the most popular lighthouses in New Zealand (crowds, except of fur seals, are highly unlikely!).
Fur Seals – You may come across fur seals snoring by the roadside as you approach the largest breeding colony of fur seals in the North Island. Be careful not to come between them and their access to the sea – they're big and move fast.
Outdoor Activities – The Cape Palliser coastline can be explored by bicycle and is also a good area for fishing, surfcasting, diving, surfing and picnicking. It is not safe for swimming, however.
Aorangi Forest Park – Visit or stay in the Aorangi Forest Park and enjoy tramping (hiking), recreational hunting, walking, cycling, off-road driving and camping. Definitely spend time visiting some of New Zealand's most striking landforms located in the park including the bizarre weathered organ pipes of the Putangirua Pinnacles, Kupe’s Sail, and the coastal Whatarangi Bluff. Some of these locations were used in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
To help plan your holiday in the Cape Palliser, simply choose from the main categories below: