If you have a few hours to spare when driving to Dunedin, and don’t mind a steep hill and lots of sheep, stop in Palmeston for a quick walk up Puketapu and fantastic 360 degree views of this part of Otago.
Directions: From the main road in Palmeston, drive up Goodwood Road until a parking lot on the right hand side, looking back down over town. About 10 metres back down the road from the parking lot, there is a stile over the fence on the other side of the road, leading into paddocks and up the hill to the monument you can see at the top.
The walk will take you up a few steep paddocks, past some very gentle rams feasting on thistles, and a flock of sheep sheltering under some macrocarpa pines, and across another two stiles until you start to see yellow markers which point the way to the top of the hill. You will see one steep trail leading straight up the hill, which you can scramble up if you are very fit, but if you would like a more leisurely walk that spirals around the hill and gives you views in all directions, follow the markers in a clockwise direction.
You approach the summit from the back of the hill, and it is a bit of a scramble, but you will get up there faster than you think, and there is a table and bench at the top to have a rest while you enjoy the views. You then take the exact same route back down again. It will take about an hour and a half to walk up and down.