Off the coast of Wairarapa is the lovely beachside town of CastlePoint. Here you can find sandy beaches and a lagoon, visit the lighthouse, and do some light tramping. Casey and I were offered the suggestion to visit CastlePoint and we are very thankful for the travel advice!
As we drove into CastlePoint we were surprised by how small the town was. It has a dairy and gift shop, which is also a small cafe – basically the only place open besides the fishing store. We guessed most of the houses here were holiday homes.
The first thing we did upon arriving was enjoy a picnic lunch beside the CastlePoint beach. Then we changed into our swimsuits and went for an afternoon stroll along the coast. Occasionally wading out into the waves.
At one point along the beach, the sand gives way to limestone. You can walk out onto the rocks. If you look close, and the water is fairly still, you can seem some fossil markings!
Following the curve of the beach will lead you to the lighthouse path. It was a beautiful, sunny day. There were many people out, but the place did not feel crowded.
Along the path of the lighthouse are signs posted about the history and mythology of the area. I enjoyed reading them. The two below: first being the Maori mythology, and second about the history and fossils.
The CastlePoint lighthouse is one of the last remaining New Zealand lighthouses that still shine. The lighthouse is 23 meters high and its’ light flashes 3 times every 30 seconds. The light can be see for up to 48 kilometers/~30 miles at sea. It is fully automated, and managed remotely from Wellington.
I loved walking around the lighthouse area. Some of the paths around the lighthouse are on the rocks, and some are built of wood planks for a safe place to view the coast. There is a nice walkway to the edge of the cliff and it makes for a great place to get a picture!
Walking along the cliff edge and rock path is beautiful, but use cation as it is windy and there are not many safety rails. I loved the view of the ocean from this side!
Behind the CastlePoint lighthouse can be seen Castle Rock and the lagoon. Which is a moderate tramp up to the 162 meters high point at the top.
We walked along the lagoon cliff side, hoping to see some wildlife (with no luck). We enjoyed watching the waves break through in different sections, which is what fills this section with salt water.
To get to the trailhead of the Castle Rock walk, it is best to follow the sandy beach around the lagoon (unless you want to wade through the water). The sand dunes in CastlePoint Scenic Reserve are protected, and walking off the track could cause harm to the plants in the area – which is the only location in the world of the rare Castle Point daisy (brachyglottis compactus) that grows on the limestone cliffs.
The CastlePoint walk begins mild, but soon steps appear and the trail becomes more steep as you make your ascent.
It is posted to be cautious in this area, as the wind is aggressive and the cliff drop off is very sharp. Casey made his way to the edge of the cliff for a nice picture, but we did not linger along the cliff side.
We followed the path all the way to the top. It was actually a bit tiring and steep, but the view was worth it!
The walk loops back and around CastlePoint, and comes out near a parking lot between the lagoon and lighthouse. The last bit is through some pine trees. Most of the walk follows farmland, so make sure to be respectful and stay on the path.
I would suggest adding CastlePoint on your New Zealand travel list if you can make time for it. It was definitely worth the day visit. The views are amazing, and the beach is a great place for a picnic!
Have you been to CastlePoint? Share your experience and thoughts in the comments below. Also, if you enjoyed this post then please Like, Comment, and Share.
Thanks for reading!