Light shone on our region

By Heather McCracken

It's hard to imagine Castlepoint without its landmark lighthouse - and today, there would be no one left alive who remembers the coastal settlement without it.

The lighthouse was built in 1913, or rather, reassembled on the rocky point in 1913, and this weekend its centenary was celebrated at the village.

The remarkable landscape alone is enough to make Castlepoint a special place - those rugged outcrops of rock, the Basin, the towering and terrifyingly steep Castle Rock.

But the lighthouse just seems to tie it all together, a focal point that feels as if it was just meant to be there, perched on the rocks.

The community came together to put on something a bit special to celebrate the milestone this weekend, with a cavalcade of horses, live music, a woolshed party, guided walks, and a rare chance to see inside the lighthouse.

That alone - a chance to get to the top of that gleaming white tower - would have made it well worth the trip out to the coast.

Visitors were also treated to sheep-shearing displays, working-dog demonstrations, a drive-through tour of Castlepoint Station, and details on the history of the lighthouse and its keepers. Wairarapa is lucky to have two of New Zealand's most spectacular lighthouses in Castlepoint and Cape Palliser. They are a remarkable part of our history and well worth celebrating.


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