While no longer solely responsible for guiding ships safely into harbour, thousands of lighthouses of every shape and size still stand as bastions of hope along the world’s coastlines. Perched atop craggy cliffs or at the edge of narrow peninsulas, they continue to capture the imagination, with many now maintained as monuments and museums or simply serving as picturesque Instagrammable hot spots.
In honour of these luminescent landmarks, Booking.com is sharing five spectacular stays near some of New Zealand’s most stunning lighthouses. From the most renowned lighthouse in the far North to the centuries-old lighthouse perched on famous rocks, these illuminating getaways are sure to inspire some serious wanderlust for when the time is right to travel internationally again.
Cape Palliser, Martinborough
Located on the south-eastern side of the Wairarapa coast, just a couple of hours drive from Wellington City is the picturesque Cape Palliser lighthouse. One of only three other lighthouses in New Zealand with stripes, this unique lighthouse sits on the southernmost point of the North Island an area that features prominently in Māori history and the legends of Kupe. Located just 40 minutes drive from this legendary lighthouse, Martinborough Experience B&B offers all the comforts of home and a fireplace to cost up to and rest your feet after the trek up the many steps to get to the Cape Palliser lighthouse.
Cape Reinga, Northland
Surrounded by miles of rugged coastline on either side and serenaded by waves crashing along the rocks, Cape Reinga is home to New Zealand’s most well-known and most visited lighthouse. Make the most of your Northland trip and enjoy the winter sunshine at the Driftwood Beachfront Accommodation set on Cable Bay’s beachfront with gorgeous sea views.
Nugget Point, The Catlins
One of New Zealand’s oldest lighthouses lies on The Catlins coast perched above the rocks famously named by Captain Cook because they looked like pieces of gold. The 151-year-old lighthouse boasts sensational views of the big blue and animal lovers will also be pleased with the potential to sight some of the world’s rarest penguins, plus this is one of the only places you might see seals, sea lions and elephant seals frolicking in the same surf. After a day spotting seabirds and exploring the peninsula’s secluded beaches and coastal towns, cosy up in the Seascape Accommodation and watch the sunset over Kaka Point – just a 15 min drive from the Nugget Point Lighthouse.
Cape Egmont, Mount Taranaki
The Cape Egmont Lighthouse, originally erected on Mana Island before being moved to Cape Egmont in 1877, has the breath-taking backdrop of Mount Taranaki. The lighthouse standing today visibly marks the western-most point of the Taranaki coast and has been shining since 1881 telling ships up to 22 nautical miles away exactly where they are. Shaped a bit like a lighthouse itself, Headlands is a 4-star accommodation located just 20 minutes from Cape Egmont and a 200m walk to the beautiful black sand Ōpūnake Beach.
Akaroa Lighthouse, Akaroa
While no longer on its original site, the Akaroa Lighthouse is still a sight to behold. Less than a 10-minute walk away from the lighthouse and right in the heart of the Akaroa town centre is The Wharf Akaroa. Enjoy stunning views over the Akaroa Harbour and indulge in a waterfront dinner at the on-site restaurant and bar.
If you’re ready to book your own lighthouse escape, Booking.com has amazing deals offering discounts of up to 20 percent on selected properties valid for stays until 30 September 2021.