Castle Point Lighthouse Walk

Castle Point Lighthouse Walk

Castle Point Lighthouse Walk


19 Rankers Reviews

15 Face-to-Face

2 Masterton

Your Nature Guide

Marios Gavalas's avatar

Marios Gavalas

Author And Researcher

Nau mai, haere mai

Nau mai, haere mai

I'm Marios, delivering the best of Aotearoa's nature walks to your device.

I've personally walked hundreds of New Zealand's tracks and spent months in libraries uncovering interesting information on New Zealand/Aotearoa. And you'll find a slice of that research on this page - enjoy!


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Castlepoint lighthouse and surrounding rocky features


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


Feature Value Info


DOC Wairarapa

Central government organisation


North IslandWairarapaMasterton


  • Walking
  • Free


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 almost 4 years ago

Ambar Du's avatar

Ambar Du


Ranking: 9/10

Beautiful place. We did a nice walk.

Reviewed almost 6 years ago and experienced in January 2017

Augustina Fernandez's avatar

Augustina Fernandez


Ranking: 6/10

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

Reviewed almost 6 years ago and experienced in January 2017

Richard Mower's avatar

Richard Mower


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 about 5 years ago and experienced in February 2017

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Hazel Norman's avatar

Hazel Norman


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 about 5 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 about 5 years ago and experienced in November 2016

Kees Mol's avatar

Kees Mol


Ranking: 9/10

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

Reviewed over 5 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 about 6 years ago and experienced in February 2016

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Daniel Roedel's avatar

Daniel Roedel


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 about 6 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 about 6 years ago and experienced in January 2016

Stella and Merle's avatar

Stella and Merle


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 about 6 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 almost 7 years ago

Claudia Bauch's avatar

Claudia Bauch


Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful beach and walk and cave.

Reviewed over 7 years ago and experienced in March 2014

DOC Managed

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Cymen Crick's avatar

Cymen Crick

Rankers Owner