Hiking the Pineapple Track / Flagstaff Nature Reserve, Dunedin
The Pineapple Track is a great option if you want to see some stunning views of Dunedin and get a bit of a workout. The Pineapple Track, part of which in the Flagstaff Nature Reserve, is one of the most well-known hiking trails in Dunedin and the views over the city, harbour, coastline and green outskirts are hard to beat. Keep reading for more information on this hike!
Hiking the Pineapple Track
You can either start the Pineapple Track at the bottom or the top – if you’re hiking the whole thing it doesn’t really matter which way you do it but if you just want to see the views it’s best to start at the top (Flagstaff-Whare Flat Road). From the car park at the top (known as the Bullring) it’s a short uphill hike to the main viewpoint. You can see out over Dunedin’s southern coastline as well Mosgiel and its hills and farmland. The track ambles up a hill full of tussock and rocks – you can push your way through the vegetation and stand on some of the larger rocks for better views / photos.
The main viewpoint
You’ll eventually reach an old upturned pipe with some small tracks leading closer to the views. Follow one of them and you’ll soon come to a seat with some of the most open views you’ll see on this track. It’s a great place to rest and, if you’re feeling a little lazy, it’s not a bad place to turn back. By now you’re probably wondering why it’s called the Pineapple Track when this is clearly not a place that pineapples grow. The name comes from a guide, who was also a green grocer, providing hikers with tins of pineapple.
Continuing down the hill
From the main viewpoint it’s mostly downhill (except for a short climb or two) to the end of the track. At the end you can continue into the Ross Creek Nature Reserve, one of the best bush hiking spots in Dunedin. There you’ll see a waterfall, a reservoir and (if you’re lucky) some native New Zealand birds. Before the Pineapple Track heads steeply downhill you’ll come to a sign pointing to Swampy Summit, Silver Peaks and down to the city. Swampy Summit and the Silver Peaks look cool so definitely consider them (especially Swampy Summit as there are closer access points to the Silver Peaks) if you’re after a longer walk. That junction is another good place to turn back if you’re parked at the top and don’t fancy walking all the way back up the hill from the bottom. We organised someone to pick us up from the bottom and drive us back to our car – definitely the lazy option but it’s good if you can manage it!
Getting to the Pineapple Track
In my opinion it’s best to start at the top of the track, located on Flagstaff-Whare Flat Road. It’s gravel but is in good condition. If you don’t have your own car you could take the 55 bus from the city to Brockville Terminus and walk up from there. You could then walk all the way back to the city. The views are best at the top, so you won’t be missing too much if you don’t hike all the way down to the bottom of the track.
Other hikes in Dunedin
Dunedin is home to so many walking tracks and there is a huge variety of things to see. Some of the best coastal hikes are found on the peninsula but make sure to check out the other side of the harbour on hikes like the Organ Pipes / Mount Cargill and Heyward Point. The Pineapple Track is actually part of a larger “Skyline Walk” which includes Swampy Summit and Mount Cargill / the Organ Pipes – if you’re after a full day hike it could be worth doing it all.
Are you planning a trip to Dunedin? Which hikes will you do? Let us know in the comments below!