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Castlepoint Sunrise, Wairarapa

Sunrise at Castlepoint Lighthouse in the Wairarapa.

Castlepoint is a small beachside town on Wairarapa's east coast, around an hour's drive from Masterton. In the immediate area there is a long beach, and a reef which has created a natural, tidal lagoon. The Castlepoint Lighthouse stands on the northern end of the reef. Erected in 1913, it was one of the last manned lighthouses in New Zealand, but has been fully automated since the 1980s. At the southern end of the township, you can climb to the highest point on the reef, an outcrop known as Castle Rock. The area is well known for its natural beauty and fierce winds.

Castlepoint is only a 2.5-hour drive from home in Wellington, and I have made the trip several times to photograph the area. This photo was taken on a weekend in late 2020, after abandoning a trip the weekend before due to extremely high winds. After photographing sunrise from the other end of the reef, I made my way back to photograph the lighthouse from the other direction. The reverse colours in the sky were beautiful, and the light winds meant that I was able to position myself on the edge of the reef, something I wouldn't be brave enough to do when it was really windy!


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