Durie Hill War Memorial Tower

Durie Hill Tower And Elevator

By Deb Alexander

The Durie Hill Tower and Elevator are two of the top attractions in Whanganui and it’s not hard to see why! The Tower sits proudly at the top of Durie Hill and can be seen from pretty much everywhere in Whanganui.

I love a good lookout so it definitely attracted me to go and check it out. It is one of my favourite spots in Whanganui and my kids love it too! Visiting the Durie Hill Memorial Tower? Then the complete Durie Hill experience must be done! In fact, this experience can only be found in Whanganui which is pretty cool! One of our many unique attractions.

The Underground Elevator – an amazing place for photos – it provides such a unique backdrop.

The Durie Hill Elevator is where it all begins and best of all, it’s only a five minute walk from the Whanganui I-Site Visitor Information Centre (where your Whanganui Experience begins!). The Durie Hill Tower/Elevator experience is one of Whanganui’s many heritage attractions.

To get to the elevator entrance, head down the sixty-six meter long pedestrian tunnel. This place is awesome! An amazing place for photos, it provides such a unique backdrop. Let the creative juices flow here and some truly striking images will follow. I have a good collection of photos from inside the tunnel and had a lot of fun composing them. My kids love the opportunity to race down the tunnel screaming at the tops of their lungs and listening to the echoes!

Ring the bell and wait for the elevator doors to open!

For a very small fee, the elevator transports visitors to the top of Durie Hill to check out that mammoth tower. The elevator is nearly 100 years old and the Southern Hemisphere’s only public underground elevator.

The elevator is powered by a converted electric tram engine and was once lubricated with castor oil! Panoramic views of Whanganui are waiting to be enjoyed when you arrive at the top. Step off the elevator & straight onto the spiral staircase and head to the top of the smaller orange tower to start enjoying those breath taking views!

This is a great place for selfies 🙂
Walk Around Virgina Lake, Whanganui, New Zealand
View from the Durie Hill Tower And Elevator, Whanganui, New Zealand

Meters away is the thirty-three meter high Durie Hill Memorial Tower. This tower is a memorial to those who died in World War One. It was built in 1925 and is constructed of shell rock which is said to be around two million years old. My kids love racing up this tower (I don’t know where they get all that energy!) and they stand at the top pointing out all the places they know.

Look at it this way – 176 steps up but only 175 steps down, that doesn’t seem so bad right?!
It’s easier on the way down (you’re welcome…)!

The views are amazing – fantastic views of Mt Ruapehu, Mt Taranaki, the Whanganui River and the coastline all await! The sunsets in our region are beautiful with the sun setting over the sea. This is a great place for selfies and there are dozens of ‘love locks’ at the top to read. Blyth Street which is next to the tower/elevator offers an ample amount of parking and is a popular spot for motor homes. There are public toilets which are clean and well-maintained.

Once the towers and our amazing views have been enjoyed, the Durie Hill steps will take visitors back down to where they started. Locals love to use these steps for fitness.

I once went up and down the steps fifteen times in a row when I was in the middle of my fitness craze. It never gets easier! But luckily in this case – we are going down the steps and only once. Thank goodness!

There are wonderful views to be enjoyed all the way back down!

Durie Hill Tower Whanganui New Zealand
The views are amazing – fantastic views of Mt Ruapehu, Mt Taranaki, the Whanganui River and the coastline all await!

The Durie Hill Tower and Elevator are a must-do when visiting Whanganui.

It is extremely popular with visitors and locals too. I love seeing people from all over the world enjoying this attraction, it is really heart-warming to see that people have come so far to experience our town. Be sure to add the Durie Hill Tower and Elevator to the list of Whanganui experiences and enjoy it for yourself!

From our destination to yours…

More things to do in Whanganui