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Bean Rock Lighthouse facts for kids

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Bean Rock Lighthouse
Bean Rock Lighthouse (1871).jpg
Bean Rock in 2010

New Zealand

Location Waitemata Harbour
New Zealand
Coordinates 36°50′00″S 174°49′52″E / 36.833284°S 174.831127°E / -36.833284; 174.831127Coordinates: 36°50′00″S 174°49′52″E / 36.833284°S 174.831127°E / -36.833284; 174.831127
Year first lit 24 July 1871
Automated 1912
Construction timber legs, hexagonal wooden cottage
Markings / pattern white

Bean Rock Lighthouse is a lighthouse situated at the end of a reef in the Waitemata Harbour in Auckland, New Zealand. It is the only remaining example in New Zealand of a wooden cottage-style lighthouse, and it is one of only a few remaining worldwide. It is also the oldest wooden lighthouse and only wave-washed tower in New Zealand. It is owned, operated and maintained by Ports of Auckland.


Bean Rock lighthouse was built c.1870 at a cost of 3000 pounds and was first lit on 24 July 1871, using a kerosene lamp of 350 candlepower. The location had been recommended by James Balfour and he did the early conceptual design work but was drowned in an accident before the design was completed. His design work was finished by James Stewart. It was named for Royal Navy Lieutenant P.C.D. Bean of HMS Herald, which surveyed and charted the Waitemata Harbour in the 1840s.

Bean Rock was inhabited by lighthouse keepers and their families until 1912, when it was automated and the keepers were withdrawn. In 1936, cable was laid from the city side of the harbour to the lighthouse and the light was run by electricity. At the time, the beacon had a distinctive signalling sequence and a coloured light display to indicate the correct course to shipping in the channel.

In 1985, the lighthouse was restored, with new timber legs being sunk into new concrete foundations. In the mid-1990s, the lighthouse was converted to solar power and synchronised with an automatic foghorn.

Bean Rock lighthouse has a Category 1 registration (number 3295) under the Historic Places Act. As it is a working lighthouse, it is not open to the public.

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