Nugget Point Lighthouse

Coordinates: 46°26′53″S 169°49′01″E / 46.44814°S 169.8169°E / -46.44814; 169.8169
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Nugget Point lighthouse at Sunrise in March of 2019.
Nugget Point Lighthouse
Nugget Point lighthouse. Rocky islets (The Nuggets) can be seen beyond the point.
LocationNugget Point, South Island, New Zealand
Coordinates46°26′53″S 169°49′01″E / 46.44814°S 169.8169°E / -46.44814; 169.8169
Constructionstone tower
Height9 metres (30 ft)
Shapecylindrical tower with balcony and lantern attached to one-story building
Markingswhite tower
Power sourcemains electricity Edit this on Wikidata
First lit1870
Focal height76 metres (249 ft)
Range10 nautical miles (19 km; 12 mi)[1]
CharacteristicLFL(2) W 12s.

Nugget Point Lighthouse is a lighthouse at Nugget Point in the Otago region of the South Island of New Zealand.[2][3] It is owned and operated by Maritime New Zealand.


The lighthouse was built from 1869 to 1870 and first lit on 4 July 1870.[1] The tower was constructed from locally quarried stone. The lighting apparatus that was installed had come to New Zealand on the same ship as the lighthouse designer James Balfour in 1863 and was originally intended for the lighthouse at Cape Saunders. With the project on Otago Peninsula experiencing many delays, the lighting apparatus was used at Nugget Point instead.[4][5]

In 1901 Walter Hutton Champion was the lighthouse keeper along with his wife Alice.

Originally, the lighthouse was powered by an oil burner. In 1949 the oil lamp was replaced with an electric 1000 W lamp powered by a local diesel generator. The generator was replaced in the 1960s by a connection to the mains grid although the original lens for the light remained in place and continued to be used.[1]

The light was fully automated in 1989 and is now monitored and managed from a Maritime New Zealand control room in Wellington. In 2006, the original light was replaced with an LED beacon, powered by mains and backed up by battery. The lighthouse was solarized in May 2020 and now has no mains power.[6]

An easy 20-minute return walking track leads from the car park at the end of The Nuggets Road to a viewing platform right next to the lighthouse overlooking "The Nuggets". The lighthouse itself is fenced off.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Information panel at Nugget Point lighthouse
  2. ^ Rowlett, Russ. "Lighthouses of New Zealand: South Island". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  3. ^ Nugget Point Lighthouse Archived 14 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Maritime New Zealand. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  4. ^ Aspden, R J. "Balfour, James Melville". Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  5. ^ Phillips, Mark. "Cape Saunders (1880)". Archived from the original on 15 January 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  6. ^ "Nugget Point lighthouse - Maritime NZ". Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 28 July 2022.

External links[edit]