Celebrations to light up coast

By Don Farmer, don.farmer@age.co.nz

A huge cast iron cylindrical tower will be the toast of the Wairarapa coast in the middle of next month.

The Castlepoint Lighthouse will be celebrating its 100th birthday in style from February 13-17 in a celebration headed by the lighthouse's owners Maritime New Zealand and sponsored by government departments, and Wairarapa businesses.

Recognition of the centennial milestone will start on February 13 when horse riders start their cavalcade from Palliser Lighthouse to Castlepoint Lighthouse - a trek that will take in the Barges near Te Awaiti, Glenburn Station, Riversdale Beach crossing the Whareama River and on to Castlepoint settlement.

The riders are expected to reach Castlepoint by early afternoon on February 16.

The lighthouse itself will first become the focus of the celebrations on the night of Friday, February 15.

There will be an after-dark light display to set the scene for a reunion of former lighthouse keepers and their families the next morning.

The lighthouse will also be opened to the public for a gold coin donation and at night a function will be held in an old woolshed.

On Saturday night there will be a repeat after-dark light display and on Sunday the day's activities will include sheep shearing and dog trial demonstrations, a guided tour of the Department of Conservation reserve, sheep mustering and a drive through of Castlepoint Station.

Castlepoint lighthouse was first lit up in 1913 and was automated in 1988.

It stands 23m and covers a range of 48km.


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