The lighthouse presents an impressive sight looking out from the top of the North Island to the meeting of the Tasman and Pacific oceans.
Cape Reinga lighthouse is accessible to the public, approximately 10,000 people visit the Cape Reinga lighthouse each year.
There is no public access to enter this lighthouse.
Some of this lighthouse History
The Cape Reinga Lighthouse is located at the top of the North Island of New Zealand. It is one of the first lights that shipping observes when arriving from the Tasman Sea and North Pacific Ocean.
The Cape Reinga lighthouse replaced the lighthouse on nearby Motuopao Island. This island sits off Cape Maria Van Diemen.
The Maria Van Diemen Lighthouse was built in 1879. Access had always been a problem. In 1886, because of the difficulty of getting a boat across the rough seas, a flying fox was built from the island to the mainland. Although this was meant to be only for supplies and mail, keepers and their families also went across the channel in the flying fox’s basket.
In 1933 an assistant lighthouse keeper’s wife was swept off the rocks near the lighthouse at Maria Van Diemen. The decision was made to build a new tower on the mainland at Cape Reinga.
Completed in 1941, the lighthouse at Cape Reinga was the last watched lighthouse to be built in New Zealand.
The new light had little use for the first few years owing to wartime blackout restrictions. Threat of an invasion was a very real fear for the keepers at Cape Reinga. In 1918, during World War One, the German raider Wolf was seen anchored in nearby Twilight Bay. Only months before, the passenger ship Wimmem was sunk by a mine 29 kilometres off the cape, killing 26 people.
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