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


  • 19 Rankers Reviews

    Quick Quotes

    • A beautiful place!
    • Beautiful place.
    • 28Sept18.
    • Beautiful beach and walk and cave.
    • A great location.

    Rating Distribution

    Rating Count Percentage
    10/10 12
    9/10 4
    8/10 2
    7/10 0
    6/10 1
    5/10 0
    4/10 0
    3/10 0
    2/10 0
    1/10 0
  • Reviewed almost 4 years ago



    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

    Mike Fricker's avatar

    Mike Fricker

  • Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in January 2017


    Beautiful place.

    We did a nice walk.

    Ambar Du's avatar

    Ambar Du


  • Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in January 2017


    Make sure you see the sunrise there!

    It is amazing.

    Augustina Fernandez's avatar

    Augustina Fernandez


  • Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in February 2017


    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.

    Richard Mower's avatar

    Richard Mower


  • Reviewed over 5 years ago and experienced in October 2016


    Excellent location, very remote and nobody there.

    Beautiful view from the lighthouse and good track up the hill beside it. Also seals.

    Hazel Norman's avatar

    Hazel Norman


  • Reviewed over 5 years ago and experienced in November 2016


    A good beach always good surfing too.

    Jade Williams's avatar

    Jade Williams

    New Zealand

  • Reviewed over 5 years ago


    A beautiful place!

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

    Kees Mol's avatar

    Kees Mol


  • Reviewed about 6 years ago and experienced in February 2016


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

    Olga Barathova's avatar

    Olga Barathova

    Czech Republic

  • Reviewed about 6 years ago and experienced in January 2016


    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!

    Daniel Roedel's avatar

    Daniel Roedel


  • Reviewed about 6 years ago and experienced in January 2016


    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.

    Dave O'Brien's avatar

    Dave O'Brien

    United Kingdom

  • Reviewed about 6 years ago and experienced in January 2016


    Seals, beaches, caves, a lighthouse, sea lions and a very windy walk to Castlepoint - amazing!

    The long way was definitely worth it.

    Stella and Merle's avatar

    Stella and Merle


  • Reviewed almost 7 years ago


    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.

    Bob Fontaine's avatar

    Bob Fontaine

  • Reviewed almost 8 years ago and experienced in March 2014


    Beautiful beach and walk and cave.

    Claudia Bauch's avatar

    Claudia Bauch


  • Reviewed about 8 years ago and experienced in February 2014


    Walks, exploration and big seals at the entrance of the lighthouse cave, very beautiful place with a lot to do.

    Pierre Gentile's avatar

    Pierre Gentile


  • Reviewed about 8 years ago and experienced in February 2014


    My favourite spot in the south of the North Island.

    The lighthouse and the cove and the beach are just awesome. A free overnight car park as well to enjoy the twilight and the sunset.

    Roy Matthieu's avatar

    Roy Matthieu


  • Reviewed over 9 years ago


    We went in the pouring rain and it was great fun.

    The wind was so strong! Great sea views well worth a walk, only takes 30 min return max. Be careful if it is bad weather you don't get stuck on the lighthouse side!

    Mike and Caroline's avatar

    Mike and Caroline

    United Kingdom

  • Reviewed about 11 years ago and experienced in March 2011


    Look the sunshine on the lighthouse is wonderful.

    Gema's avatar



  • Reviewed over 12 years ago and experienced in January 2010


    A great location.

    Gerry Donoghue 's avatar

    Gerry Donoghue


  • Reviewed over 12 years ago and experienced in November 2009


    Walk to the hill opposite the lighthouse and climb it to get a very nice view.

    Explore the beach 10 mins drive from Castlepoint (North). You will find a vertical rock beach.

    Mille Winther's avatar

    Mille Winther


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