A turret is making views from Tutukaka Hill even more spectacular.

The new lookout at Frying Pan Corner, gives views of the Poor Knights around to Mt Manaia.

The old lookout was closed from early March until Easter Weekend while it underwent a $105,000 upgrade.

The upgrade included removing the keystone wall and installing two new viewing platforms, a timber walkway and ramp and steel steps. A lookout tower lifts people higher than the surrounding ground.


Whangarei District Council landscape architect Tracey Moore said the two lookout platforms are orientated towards both Tutukaka and Ngunguru with the ramp connecting them. The timber lookout height and ramp are designed to be accessible.

"The lookout tower is reusing a steel pipe we had left over from another project and is a bit of fun. It provides more elevation and a better view."

She said they have five more steel pipes and would love to fabricate more, make each ladder a different colour and install them around Whangarei.

She did not know if this was the first turret at a lookout in New Zealand.

A blessing was held at the site late last month to officially open the new lookout.

Kaumatua Paratente te Manu (Sonny) Wellington said the name Frying Pan Corner came from when road builders were establishing the road. It was the place where they would stop for a break, and put the billy and frying pan on.

"Some people think it is called Goodbye Corner, but that is the next corner, near the old quarry, where people used to say goodbye to Tutukaka as they headed to Ngunguru, back when maybe two cars used the road each day."

He said the money spent on the lookout had made a real difference and was money well spent.


"It is important to have places like this - there's a terrific view. Now we all have to keep it tidy and show respect to this place."

The original lookout was built 10 years ago by the Tutukaka Lions Club.

Some finishing touches, including a new surface on the carpark and new signs explaining the identifying landmarks and history of the site are still being completed.