New guided tour to Putangirua Pinnacles and several other Wairarapa wonders
Some of the most remarkable geological features in New Zealand sit quietly on the Wairarapa coast, often overlooked by people visiting the area.
A new guided tour out of Martinborough is aiming to change that. It takes in several spectacular locations along the North Island's ruggedly beautiful southeastern coastline.
The highlight of the new day-long Palliser Bay Coastal Explorer Walk and Tour is without doubt the walk up a peaceful gorge to the remarkable rock formations that make up the Putangirua Pinnacles.
Green Jersey Explorer Tours owner Stuart Edwards is a relaxed communicator and a well-informed guide who puts people at ease with his easy humour and interesting grasp of local histories.
Edwards said the pinnacles are thought to be about 20,000 years old and the size of them is what is most impressive when compared to similar formations globally.
The strange-looking rock formations are constantly changing and offer people a glimpse at a quite unique process of erosion not often able to be seen.
"The coastline out here is a very dynamic natural environment and has been for thousands of years. The shape of the land constantly changes and reveals new dimensions.
"The pinnacles are a really remarkable element of a really interesting part of New Zealand that is not so familiar to many people."
The pinnacles are a favourite location of film-maker Sir Peter Jackson, and were used as a setting in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
The day tour also takes in a short walk at Lake Ferry, with interesting information about local fauna, geology and, if you are lucky, views of the Kaikoura ranges across Cook Strait.
The days events vary from tour to tour depending on the weather and other factors and is described by operators as an active tour.
At some point across the day customers get a lovely cafe created lunch at a picturesque location along the tour that also visits Ngawi fishing village, the seal colony at Cape Palliser and the historic cast iron Cape Palliser lighthouse.
Along the way the imposing angled rock face named Kupe's Sail can also be seen.
The hike up to the lookout point at the pinnacles is moderate to easy but could be challenging for people who have walking difficulty or health issues.
It is well worth the effort to get up there though, with beautiful peaceful views of the pinnacles punctuated by the call of native birds.