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The Pencarrow Lighthouse was New Zealand's first permanent lighthouse and was run by New Zealand's only woman lighthouse-keeper, Mary Jane Bennett.
The Pencarrow Lighthouse was New Zealand's first permanent lighthouse and was run by New Zealand's only female lighthouse-keeper, Mary Jane Bennett, who took over the post when her husband George, the former keeper, tragically passed away.
The cast iron tower was made in England and then erected on Pencarrow Head, at the entrance to Wellington Harbour. It was first lit on New Year's Day 1859 and beamed it's cautionary message for 76 years, until it was decommissioned and replaced by the Baring Head Lighthouse.
Located within Wellington's East Harbour Regional Park, the lighthouse makes for a pleasant daytrip. Walk or cycle the 8km gravel track to the lighthouse from Burden's Gate, at the south end of Eastbourne (8km walk).
Eastbourne is located 40 minutes drive from downtown Wellington or 30 minutes aboard the East By West Ferry.