East Cape Lighthouse
The East Cape Lighthouse is accessed by a walking track of some 700 steps. The walk is definitely worth it for the views at the top!
A 22 kilometre, mostly unsealed no-exit road from Te Araroa takes you to the most Easterly point on mainland New Zealand. The road clings to the eastern coastline with constant stunning views.
There are numerous sandy beaches just metres away from the lighthouse.
While you can walk around the lighthouse, the lighthouse itself is not open to the public.
East Cape Lighthouse History
The East Cape Lighthouse was initially built on East Island, a small offshore island of about 13 hectares. The island proved quite hazardous however, and in 1922 the lighthouse was relocated to the mainland.
Originally manned by three lighthouse keepers, by 1985 the East Cape Lighthouse was fully automated. Today the lighthouse is managed by Maritime New Zealand.
In the tiny coastal settlement of Te Araroa, you'll find Te Waha-o-Rerekohu—New Zealand's oldest and largest pohutukawa tree. It's around 600 years old.
Down the road From Te Araroa is St Mary's Church in Tikitiki—one of the most marvellously ornate Maori churches in New Zealand.