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Search Sights & activities

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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.

 

Trails

Pencarrow Lighthouses 
Follow an easy gravel road out to the 1906 lighthouses on the shoreline and venture up to New Zealand's first light house was erected on 1 January 1859 - home to New Zealand's only woman light house keeper.

Distance 16km
Cycle 1.5 hours return
Walk 4 hours return


Parangarahu Lakes
Carry on past the lighthouses to wetlands and ride or walk the lake loops.

Distance 22km
Cycle 2 hours return
Walk 5 hours


Ready to go
Catch the number 83 bus to the Eastbourne bus terminus, then walk for 5 minutes to Burdans Gate, or simply park up at the road end.
While this is an easy ride, plenty of food, water, warm clothes and sun protection are required as there are no facilities and little shelter on the way. Take a jacket - it can get windy!
Hire a bike at The Bike Shed Pencarrow which is at the start of your ride.
While you're in Eastbourne you could stay for lunch or a coffee at one of the many cafes, restaurants or bars.