1580 Coast Road, Breaker Bay, Wellington City
Baring Head Lighthouse, the youngest lighthouse in New Zealand's fleet, and also the most recently automated, in 1989.
This was a sought after posting for lighthouse keepers, who may enjoy solitude, but here also enjoyed the benefits of the family being able to attend the local schools (Wainuiomata) and the other advantages of the road up the valley to civilisation.
The 12 metre concrete Tower here is situated on the southernmost tip of the North Island and is often visible to airline passengers landing or taking off from Wellington Airport, in the distance, past the older Pencarrow pair of Lighthouses. Access is either via the Pencarrow Coastal Trail from Burdan's Gate, Eastbourne, or down the Wainuiomata River Valley to the Rivermouth.
Built in 1935, it postdates most other New Zealand Lighthouse by at least 20 years, but really served as a replacement for Pencarrow, which was put out after Baring Head became operational. The position provides a wider view of the harbour mouth. It's advantageous position meant it was able to immediately run on electricity, with Diesel backup. It now features an LED light.
The walk offers great views of Wellington Harbour and Cook Strait. The starting point for walking to the Lighthouse is the bridge on the Wainouiamata Coast road about 2km before reaching the the coast; an entrance to the East Harbour Regional Park. Park your transport. From here the most direct route to the lighthouse is to follow the road and then the signs. There are walking tracks through the park and you can climb to a trig point and the nearby remains of a World War II defensive post.