Matiu Somes Island Lighthouse

Matiu Somes Island Lighthouse at night

Matiu Somes Island is right in the middle of Wellington harbour. It’s small at just 62 aches and it takes around an hour to walk the path around the island. It is about a 30 minute boat trip from Wellington’s city centre and over summer we went camping for a night on the island. It’s famous for it’s wildlife including little blue penguins which unfortunately we didn’t see this time. The little blue penguins come onto the island at night to nest on the island.

This view is on the opposite, more rocky side of the island looking towards the Wellington centre which is off to the left. I wanted to show the lighthouse from this angle at dusk to show the jagged rocks on the left with the little lighthouse on the right third. I wanted to show the actual light of the lighthouse. It was import to me to show that the light is shinning out over the rocks. The lighthouse has been here since 1866 and whilst it is still in use today, it has been automated since 1924. On a clear night the light is visible for 16 miles into the Cook Straight which is off to the left.

Lighthouse at Cape Palliser

Lighthouse at Cape Palliser

This is an area of New Zealand that I knew nothing about. It’s a very remote place at the southern tip of the North Island. As you can see from this early evening photograph of the lighthouse it’s a very dramatic coastline. When I was there it was July (so mid winter) and it was extremely windy. I live in Wellington which is known as the windy city (much like San Francisco in the US) but this area was the wildest place I’ve ever visited. At one point my heavy 3kg+ tripod was picked up by the wind and thrown about 5 metres! Whilst this was being taken I was holding onto my gear very tightly. Cape Palliser is also known as a large seal colony. You can see the unsealed road just behind the beach and if you look very closely at the area of brownish green grass on the left third of the frame the black dots are all fur seals. There are hundreds in this area, it’s New Zealand’s largest colony.

Cape Reinga Lighthouse

Cape Reinga Lighthouse

The very top of New Zealand’s North Island is home to the Cape Reinga Lighthouse. Built in 1941 it is now a popular tourist destination. To capture the above photograph I was stood on the top of the near by Hiriki Pa hill. Using the zoom on my camera to focus on the lighthouse. Sadly, the inside is not accessible to the public, which is probably for the best seeing the coach loads of people who visit on a daily basis.

Cape Reinga Lighthouse

Cape Reinga Lighthouse

At the far north of New Zealand’s north island is the Cape Reinga Lighthouse. Having been to Bluff in the far south I expected it to be similar. I couldn’t have been more wrong. For a start there is no lighthouse in Bluff. Cape Reinga is hours drive for almost anything and walk from the highway. This photograph was taken as I was heading back to the car. Looking down from a nearby hill.