Hero photograph
Otago Peninsula Fallen Soldiers' Memorial - you will be rewarded by  phenomenal views after a steep 10 minute walk.
 
Photo by Suzanne Middleton

Otago Peninsula Fallen Soldiers’ Memorial 1914-1918

Suzanne Middleton, Wild Dunedin —

Sitting on an enormous rock and with 360 degree views, it’s a place of history, nature and reflection. Unveiled in front of a large crowd in 1923, this memorial to WW1 soldiers with a connection to Otago Peninsula is an impressive symbol of collective grief. A steep but short 10 minute walk to a height of 280 metres. 15 – 20 minute drive from Dunedin.

As you walk or drive down Dunedin’s Stuart St, pause at the Moana Pool lights and look towards Otago Peninsula to the left. Where the housing runs out look up to the ridge and you’ll see a pinhead blip on the horizon. Locally known as the Soldiers’ Monument, this landmark can be seen from all over Dunedin.

The Otago Peninsula Fallen Soldiers Monument is on a high point on the Otago Peninsula and can be seen from the city and the other side of the harbour. — Image by: Caroline Davies

Driving out on Highcliff Road, as you round a right hand bend and see the glorious Otago Harbour spread out to your left, look up to the right and the Soldiers’ Monument is on the skyline. There are a few car parks on the roadside. 

The path up to the monument is lined with tī kōuka/cabbage trees, harakeke/flax, toetoe, poroporo and māpou. 

 Skylarks are present around the Soldiers Monument all year, but they're much more noticeable when the males are singing their sky song - usually between August and January, when they're looking to find mates and defend their breeding territories. Skylarks nest on the ground.

A young fledgling skylark hiding from flying predators like harriers and gulls. If it stays still, its camouflage feathers will protect it. — Image by: Rod Morris

You might also see sparrows, starlings, thrush, blackbirds, kāhu/swamp harriers, tauhou/silvereyes, tarāpunga/red billed gulls and karora/black-backed gulls. 

Children will enjoy scrambling over the big boulders around the the base of the monument. See how many different kinds of lichen you can find on the boulders.

Lichens can only grow where there is no pollution. Some of lichen growing on the rocks at the Soldier's Memorial, Otago Peninsula. — Image by: Suzanne Middleton

The peninsula farms with their original stone walls are laid out before you. In a clockwise direction you can see Tomahawk, Lawyers Head, the Catlins in the distance, St Clair, Saddle Hill, Maungatua/Maukaatua, Ravensbourne, Whanaupaki/Flagstaff, Kapukataumahaka/Mt Cargill, Koputai/Port Chalmers, Aramoana, Taiaroa Head, and Te Roto Pāteke/Macandrew Bay.

The views are phenomenal including a view straight down the harbour. This image is from Instagram  @jade.pettinger — Image by: @jade.pettinger

It’s a great place to get your bearings with other local landmarks and to bring visitors.

SUMMARY:

A short but steep 280 metre climb that rewards you with views over the harbour.

To get there: Driving out on Highcliff Road, as you round a right hand bend and see the glorious Otago Harbour spread out to your left, look up to the right and the Soldiers’ Monument is on the skyline. There are a few car parks on the roadside.

You need sturdy footwear and warm clothes for this walk.