Pencarrow Head

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Pencarrow Head
Ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2 at Pencarrow Head
Ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2 at Pencarrow Head
Coordinates: 41°21′34″S 174°50′54″E / 41.3594°S 174.8482°E / -41.3594; 174.8482Coordinates: 41°21′34″S 174°50′54″E / 41.3594°S 174.8482°E / -41.3594; 174.8482
CountryNew Zealand
Territorial authorityLower Hutt
 • Total268.42 km2 (103.64 sq mi)
 (June 2021)[2]
 • Total690
 • Density2.6/km2 (6.7/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+12 (NZST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+13 (NZDT)
Area code(s)04

Pencarrow Head, also known as Pencarrow, is a headland in the Wellington Region of New Zealand and the name of the surrounding area.

It is the eastern headland that marks the entrance to Wellington Harbour. The area is located south of Eastbourne and is part of Lower Hutt. The area is hilly and has no road access; a walking or mountain biking track follows the coast line.[3] The head marks the northern end of Fitzroy Bay.

The main attraction of Pencarrow Head is the Pencarrow Head Lighthouse, the first permanent lighthouse in New Zealand constructed in 1859. It is one of Wellington's most notable heritage locations and New Zealand's only female lighthouse keeper, Mary Bennett, worked here. The return walk from Eastbourne takes four hours.[3][4]

The Pencarrow lakes, Lake Kohangapiripiri and Lake Kohangatera, are freshwater wetlands that were blocked from the sea by earthquake activity. Stock grazing was discontinued in 2004 and the wetlands are recovering from stock and farming impacts. The area is under joint management by the Department of Conservation and the Greater Wellington Regional Council.[5]


Pencarrow statistical area covers 268.42 km2 (103.64 sq mi).[1] It had an estimated population of 690 as of June 2021,[2] with a population density of 3 people per km2.

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
Source: [6]

Pencarrow had a population of 651 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 63 people (10.7%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 78 people (13.6%) since the 2006 census. There were 228 households. There were 312 males and 342 females, giving a sex ratio of 0.91 males per female. The median age was 46.2 years (compared with 37.4 years nationally), with 123 people (18.9%) aged under 15 years, 102 (15.7%) aged 15 to 29, 342 (52.5%) aged 30 to 64, and 84 (12.9%) aged 65 or older.

Ethnicities were 88.9% European/Pākehā, 12.9% Māori, 3.7% Pacific peoples, 5.1% Asian, and 1.8% other ethnicities (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities).

The proportion of people born overseas was 18.0%, compared with 27.1% nationally.

Although some people objected to giving their religion, 57.1% had no religion, 32.7% were Christian, 0.9% were Hindu, 0.5% were Muslim, 1.8% were Buddhist and 2.8% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 87 (16.5%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 105 (19.9%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $39,700, compared with $31,800 nationally. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 291 (55.1%) people were employed full-time, 84 (15.9%) were part-time, and 15 (2.8%) were unemployed.[6]


  1. ^ a b "ArcGIS Web Application". Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Population estimate tables - NZ.Stat". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Pencarrow Heads Light House Walk". FreeWalks NZ. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  4. ^ "Pencarrow Coast". Hutt City Council. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  5. ^ "Pencarrow Lakes". Department of Conservation. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Statistical area 1 dataset for 2018 Census". Statistics New Zealand. March 2020. Pencarrow (246800). 2018 Census place summary: Pencarrow