If you’re visiting New Zealand, the East Cape Lighthouse should be included in your plans.
It is a lighthouse perched on Otiki Hill above East Cape, the iconic easternmost point on the North Island of New Zealand, and what feels like the end of the earth. Once there, you’ll only see miles and miles of ocean.
Surrounded by pristine coastline and out of this world views, It is owned and operated by Maritime New Zealand.
The lighthouse was originally constructed on nearby East Island. However the island was difficult to access (four men died during tower construction when their boat capsized) and proved to be susceptible to earthquakes and subsequent landslips. As a result, im 1920 a decision was made to relocate the light to the mainland and in April 1922, the light was extinguished and then relit at its current location in December of that year. Originally manned by three lighthouse keepers, the light’s staffing was progressively reduced until it was fully automated in 1985.
It is now controlled from the Maritime New Zealand headquarters in Wellington.
The area around the light is accessible by foot, including the 22km coastal drive and the 700 steps to get to the building, but the lighthouse itself is not open to the public.
The road to the lighthouse clings to the coastline, and there are numerous sandy beaches just metres away.
Besides the beaches, you can also visit New Zealand’s oldest and biggest pohutukawa tree. This tree is 600 years old and a must-see.
It may not really come as a surprise for those who know East Cape Lighthouse. But for first-timers, this is an interesting thing to know: you get to be one of the first persons that will greet the new day, and thousands of tourists from all over the world visit New Zealand for this amazing experience.
Images from web – Google Research