Te Whanaupaki/Flagstaff

The Otago’s hinterland from Flagstaff

Having spent a good period of time in the city visiting something that isn’t there and imaging what the most important building ever lost to Dunedin used to look like, I decided a walk in open space was in order. The most interesting and open spaced place I could think of that wasn’t beyond my lung capacity and would be achievable within 30 minutes was The Flagstaff Track. 

It wasn’t soon after I started along the old bullock track up a short but steep walk up to Dunedin’s Skyline that I realised maybe a bush walk would have been more sensible. Before long the manuka scrub gave way to tussock land that stretched over rolling hills into Otago’s hinterland. 

To an outsider I’m sure the meaning of The Flagstaff Track is perfectly clear. It’s a track that leads to where the staff of a flag was raised. They would be right of course, however it’s the purpose of the flag that seems to depend on which story you follow. Some definitions indicate that the flag signaled a ship had arrived in port meaning new supplies could be purchased. Other stories tell of when a flag was hoisted on Flagstaff Summit men would flock into the city in the hope of finding a wife.

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