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Durie hill tunnel & tower attraction, things to do in Whanganui

  • 1 minute

Whanganui, North Island


Where else can you catch a lift (elevator) to the top of a hill. Minimum walking required. Durie Hill Tower Walk is a must-go destination for its unusual transport option and the great views of the town.

Shots from the top of Durie Hill Elevator Tower in Whanganui, New Zealand
Shots from the top of Durie Hill Elevator Tower in Whanganui

Durie Hill Tower Walk access options

  • Walk through a 213 metre tunnel and catch the Durie Hill Elevator (fees apply, Eftpos available). A beautifully maintained 1919 elevator complete with bookcase and timber fittings. The elevator ascends 65.8 metres up the hill
  • Walk 193 steps from the bottom of the Durie Hill to the top
  • From the elevator upper entrance there are an additional 41 steps on a spiral staircase to the topmost viewing platform.
  • Start: Putiki Drive carpark

Durie Hill Tunnel was completed in 1919 (the aim to open up the area for residential development). The elevator ascends 65.8  metres to the top of the hill. The local Council own and manage the site with the facilities open every day, except Christmas Day. Check Durie Hill Tunnel.


The Durie Hill tunnel has its own Instagram account

Durie Hill Elevator (@duriehillelevator) • Instagram photos and videos.

The Duri Hill Tower is a category 2 heritage site. The height of the viewing deck is 113 metres above sea level with sweeping views of the Whanganui River, harbour and town.


Adjacent to the Durie Hill Elevator Tower is the Durie Hill War Memorial Tower for fallen soldiers in World War I. The tower is the official Wanganui County Memorial to the 513 people from the district who died in the First World War and is constructed of cemented marine sandstone containing shell fragments (simply called shellrock) from a nearby quarry. It is 33.5-metres high and the rock is estimated to be more than 2 million years old.

  • Option to ascend 176 steps of the War Memorial Tower and scan the horizon for truely stunning views of the North Island with the possibility of glimpsing on the horizon Mt Ruapehu and Mt Taranaki
Whanganaui memorial tower, Whanganui, North Island, New Zealand, Pacific
Whanganaui memorial tower

Wanganui has another war memorial, built in 1923, is the Cenotaph located in Pukenamu Queen’s Park Reserve.


Durie Hill Tower is a key attraction on Whanganui art and heritage trail. It’s fun to catch a ride to the top of the hill in vintage elevator.



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