Mount Cargill, also known as Kapukataumahaka, can be seen looming over the northern part of the city of Dunedin, making for most of its skyline. It stands tall at a height of 676 meters, which is around 2,218 feet, and lies 15 kilometers, which is nine miles, from the city centre.
The mountain is surrounded by other smaller peaks, like Mount Zion, Mount Holmes and Buttar’s Peak, that are also frequented by the tourists who visit Mount Cargill. Visitors must carry warm clothing because of the mostly low temperatures and unpredictable weather in the region.
Apart from the Flagstaff peak, Mount Cargill is known to be one of the highest peaks surrounding the city of Dunedin, and offers one of the most stunning, panoramic views of the city at its foot, including both the urban centre and the countryside of the region. Visitors can also enjoy views of most of the Otago coastline, especially the Otago Harbour and the Otago Peninsula. Mount Cargill is also famous for being the youngest part of the now extinct Dunedin Volcano, which was formed around 16 to 10 million years ago.
Mount Cargill is known amongst the locals for its symbolism and the Maori legend that is attached to the peak. The summit was named after Captain William Cargill, who was famous for being the leader of the Province of Otago in the earlier days, but it was known as Kopuka-tau-mohoka within the Maori community.
The Maori legend says that Mount Cargill and the two peaks adjacent to it are representative of the petrified head, body and the feet of an Otakou tribe princess, wherein Buttar’s Peak is seen as the head and Mount Cargill as the body, forming a reclining figure.