New Zealand

Organ Pipes

They might look man made, but the strange stone columns sticking out of this forested hillside were formed by a prehistoric supervolcano.


Jutting from the top of Mount Cargill, the Organ Pipes serve as a reminder that the area was once part of a prehistoric supervolcano. The Pipes themselves are hexagonal basalt columns, which formed as lava flows from the volcano cooled. Over the eons, the volcanic stone was eventually enveloped by lush forest, with the Organ Pipes jutting out from amidst the foliage. To reach these geological curiosities, you start on a track that meanders among the bird-filled trees, and eventually clamber over the remains of fallen organ pipes until you reach the clusters of surviving columns. Some of these you can (carefully) climb for great views of the surrounding area. You can also extend your visit to make the 3-4 hour return trip to the very top of Mount Cargill, or the nearby Buttar’s Peak for a better view of Cargill and its massive radio tower.


CountryNew Zealand
Local time10:28 PM GMT+13
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