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This is one of our favourite lighthouses, at Castlepoint.

When the English explorer Captain James Cook, sailed around this part of New Zealand’s East Coast on his 1704 discovery tour, he spotted this rocky outcrop, thought it looked just like a castle from home, so promptly named it Castlepoint.

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The Castlepoint lighthouse began its guidance role in 1913, and looks out over an often-turbulent sea and treacherous reef that shelters a safe harbour inlet. The spectacular sweeping beach that curves around to the high point has been a popular place for holidaymakers for years, before and after the lighthouse was built. Its close proximity to the settlement meant that there was not the classic isolation for the keepers, who had constant visitors, and some complained about it. The light was made fully automatic around ten years ago, but it still attracts visitors.

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