Castle Point Lighthouse Walk

Castle Point Lighthouse Walk

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Details

19 Rankers Reviews

15 Face-to-Face

24 Walking

2 Masterton

Maps

Photos

Castlepoint lighthouse and surrounding rocky features

Information

1.2 km return | 30 minutes return

Castle Rock reaches 126 m above sea level and was named by Captain Cook in 1770 because it resembled the turrets of a castle, with the reef presumably forming the battlements.

The walk to the lighthouse itself is nice. But what lies around the this area is beyond nice and pretty damn spectacular. There's a secret tunnel at the rock feature where you can walk all the way from one side to the next (bring a torch). Plus the various rock ledges are fantastic to explore.

NOTE - Be careful when there's a swell running, it makes for exciting and dramatic moments, but people have died here in big swells by not being careful. Have fun, be safe!

Access

Castlepoint is well signposted from Masterton. Follow Te Ore Ore Road from northbound SH2 in Masterton and continue for 64 km. Access is from the carpark at the end of Jetty Road in Castlepoint.

Track

The track initially crosses a wooden footbridge over the neck of sand at the northern end of Deliverance Cove and climbs Castle Point on a concrete and wooden walkway. A boardwalk climbs to the summit, circles around the lighthouse and later rejoins the track down.

Geology

The limestone and sandstone forming Castle Rock was deposited in shallow water around 2 million years ago at the beginning of the last series of global Ice Ages. The offshore shell banks gave habitat to over 70 species, including a species of scallop, which today live in cooler waters off Otago. Geologists have thus been able to ascertain the climate at that time was cooler. Conversely other species exhibited in the fossil makeup are warm water dwellers, suggesting fluctuations in the climate during the formation of the rock.

Small marine fossils known as foraminifera with a difference in age of 2 million years make up some of the limestone layers. Large shell fragments have also been crushed under immense pressure and mixed with sand to form the rocks. A fault runs either side of the Reef.

Fauna

Watch for mutually inquisitive yellow eyed penguins around the rocks. They may be completely unnerved by human presence. One theory also suggests that as they reach old age they go blind (rather like Australasian gannets). This may explain why you can sometimes get very close to one and they are seemingly oblivious to you being there. The knee-high residents often remain still enough for you to observe the blemished yellow stripe of feathers that arcs elegantly through their eyes.

Australasian gannets, black shags and white-fronted terns sometimes circle on the updraughts.

European History

Castle Point is crowned by the lighthouse, which is constructed of cast iron sections bolted together and stands 23 metres tall. It is sited 52 m above sea level and its light has a range of 26 nautical miles (48 km). The lighthouse was fully automated in 1985 and is controlled by a computer from Wellington.

Cook noted in his diary “[we saw] a remarkable hillock which stands close to the sea”. During his observations, Endeavour was approached by a flotilla of Maori canoes, although no altercation or contact took place.

Famous visitors to the area have included the Reverend William Williams in 1843 and William Colenso.

Details

Feature Value Info

Location

North IslandWairarapaMasterton

Categories

  • Walking
  • Free

Contact

Reviews

Showing 13 reviews of 19.

Mike Fricker's avatar

Mike Fricker

Ranking: 10/10

28Sept18. Great walk up. Very windy when we were there. Walked up in the evening for sunset then next morning for sunrise, an early start, but not alone.
Go there

Reviewed about 1 year ago

Ambar Du's avatar

Ambar Du

Argentina

Ranking: 9/10

Beautiful place. We did a nice walk.

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in January 2017

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Augustina Fernandez's avatar

Augustina Fernandez

Argentina

Ranking: 6/10

Make sure you see the sunrise there! It is amazing.

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in January 2017

Richard Mower's avatar

Richard Mower

England

Ranking: 10/10

Stunning, stunning, stunning!! The ridge walk loop from the lighthouse carpark to Castlerock and back along the beach is one of the best we have done in the North Island.

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in February 2017

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Hazel Norman's avatar

Hazel Norman

England

Ranking: 10/10

Excellent location, very remote and nobody there. Beautiful view from the lighthouse and good track up the hill beside it. Also seals.

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in October 2016

Jade Williams's avatar

Jade Williams

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

A good beach always good surfing too.

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in November 2016

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Kees Mol's avatar

Kees Mol

Netherlands

Ranking: 9/10

A beautiful place! We did a nice walk to the Rock. No restaurants, just one small shop/cafe.

Reviewed almost 3 years ago

Olga Barathova's avatar

Olga Barathova

Czech Republic

Ranking: 10/10

We woke up early with the sunrise and it was an amazing view.

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in February 2016

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Daniel Roedel's avatar

Daniel Roedel

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

It is a bit longer drive from the highway but it is definitely worth it. The beach, the lighthouse and the breath-taking cliffs are awesome. Climbing on Castlepoint Rock offers an incredible view over the bay and the best thing: you are away from the masses of tourists!

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in January 2016

Dave O'Brien's avatar

Dave O'Brien

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Lovely spot, good walks, scenic lighthouse, good adventure to the cave past the seals and waves. Pretty unique geographical feature, wish I had a surfboard.

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in January 2016

Award-1-24px Congratulations Castle Point Lighthouse Walk

Top Ranked NZ Awards 2016 Short Walk Winner

Stella and Merle's avatar

Stella and Merle

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

Seals, beaches, caves, a lighthouse, sea lions and a very windy walk to Castlepoint - amazing! The long way was definitely worth it.

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in January 2016

Bob Fontaine's avatar

Bob Fontaine

Ranking: 10/10

In my opinion the most beautiful lighthouse in the North Island! First you will have to walk on a beach (make sure it is low tide!). The lighthouse itself and its surrounding are just beautiful. The drive from Masterton takes about 1hr, easy drive.

Reviewed about 4 years ago

Claudia Bauch's avatar

Claudia Bauch

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful beach and walk and cave.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in March 2014

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Nick Morrison's avatar

Nick Morrison

Rankers owner