Bike, drive or walk to this hilltop lookout to admire the uninterrupted views over Dunedin’s Pacific Ocean coastline and Otago Harbour.
Signal Hill is a hilltop observation point that rises above the northeast region of Dunedin’s city centre. Come here to enjoy some peace and quiet while surrounded by inspiring natural scenery. Marvel at the panoramic views of the city’s coastline and spot historic landmarks. At its highest point Signal Hill reaches 393 metres (1,289 feet) and is encompassed by picturesque parkland.
Choose from a number of ways to reach the hill and lookout. The easiest way is to drive for about 15 minutes from the city centre. For a more adventurous experience, walk from The Octagon to Logan Park and then follow the trails uphill. Depending on your fitness level, you should allow about 2 hours to reach the summit. Alternatively, rent a bike and ride up via the main road or hillside tracks.
Upon reaching the peak you’ll be rewarded with some of the best views of Dunedin’s countryside. Marvel at the undulating green hills, which frame the city centre. Look down on Otago Harbour and the rolling landscape of Otago Peninsula. Gaze out across the glistening water of the Pacific Ocean. Try to spot the towers and turrets of Larnach Castle, a 19th-century fortress set in the hills of Otago Peninsula.
When you reach the hilltop, look for the Otago Centennial Memorial, a monument that commemorates the centenary of New Zealand becoming a British colony. Note the two Buddha-like bronze statues, which represent history and the thread of life.
Extend your time here and explore the native bush of the adjoining Burns Park Scenic Reserve. If coming here by bike then tackle the Big Easy trail, a natural track that weaves downhill to the beaches on Otago Harbour. Here it’s often possible to see seals and sea lions swimming in the waves.
Free parking is available at Signal Hill. Rent bikes and any necessary equipment from bike shops in the city centre. Bear in mind that frost and snowfall can make the trails hazardous during the winter months.