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Nature & Wildlife

Castlepoint Scenic Reserve & Lighthouse

  • 3 minutes

Wairarapa, North Island

Attractions and things to do nearby Castlepoint Scenic Reserve

Castlepoint Scenic Reserve highlights:

  • Watching tractors launch recreational boats into the sea
  • The lagoon is a great place for paddling, kayaks and boogie boards
  • Climb to the lighthouse and take in the panoramic views

Castlepoint is known for surging ocean contrasted with the calm lagoon, magnificent views of the coast & option of fish n chips on the shoreline. Kids will enjoy the sheer scale of ocean with the lighthouse perched at the top of the stairs. While it’s a steep climb the exhilaration of getting there is a reward in itself. The walk is approximately 30 minutes over the reef and past high cliffs. Supervise younger children as cliff faces are unfenced. Dogs on a leash. For details Lighthouse Walk – Castlepoint Scenic Reserve.


Nature offers several options closeby Castlepoint Scenic Reserve, Wairarapa:

  • Deliverance Cove walking track to Castle Rock and sunbathing fur seals
  • Mataikona rocks, (low tide) extraordinary ridged mudflows
  • Tinui ANZAC walkway (moderately challenging)
  • Tinui pub to find out why the locals love the creative pub meals

With its reef, lagoon, lighthouse and Castle Rock, Castlepoint is a spectacular stretch of Wairarapa coastline. An hour from Masterton, the reserve attracts many birds and marine mammals. There are several walks suitable for most age and fitness levels in and around the scenic reserve. All walks begin at the roadend carpark.

New Zealand, Mataikona Rocks on the North Island, Wairarapa
New Zealand, Mataikona Rocks on the North Island, Wairarapa

Check Wairarapa road closures to avoid disappointment beforehand.

Castle Point Lighthouse, sunrise, Wairarapa, New Zealand
Castle Point Lighthouse, sunrise, Wairarapa

The lighthouse was built in 1913 and is a popular spot for selfies and landscape photography. The Castlepoint Lighthouse is the North Island’s tallest lighthouse standing 52 metres above sea level and is one of only two left in New Zealand with a rotating beam. It is owned and operated by Maritime New Zealand. The cast iron tower was manufactured at Luke’s foundry in Wellington.

There are public toilets and changing rooms at the beach front carpark.

The best time to visit the Castlepoint Scenic Reserve is between January to March (summer months). In winter strong winds and storms are not uncommon.


One of the best views of the lighthouse is from the local campgrounds.

Yes, the lagoon offers a calm safe swim for families. Surfers will explore the breaks near the gap at Castle Rock.

Swim guide: Castlepoint Beach is located on the northeastern side of the Wairarapa coast, and is popular for swimming and sunbathing. Small waves and a shallow incline into the ocean make it an excellent swimming spot for families, although rips can occasionally form.

Yes, there are two options near Castlepoint Scenic Reserve to eat and drink, the General Store with its adjacent cafe and the Whakataki Hotel for casual pub meals.


Check out youtube clip:

The Spectacular Rocks of Mataikona, New Zealand, part of Out There Learning geology and landforms of New Zealand, a youtube channel.

Currently the lighthouse is not open to the public. The lighthouse is fully automated. Check out Castle Point lighthouse – Maritime NZ for details about the construction and frequency of the lighthouse beam.


For ideas about things to do in nearby Wellington check out Wellington travel guide.

Castle Point lagoon and lighthouse, Wairarapa, New Zealand
Castle Point lagoon and lighthouse, Wairarapa


Castlepoint Road can be closed due to storm damage check beforehand to avoid disappointment.


Location for Castlepoint Lighthouse:


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