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Cape Reinga Lighthouse facts for kids

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Cape Reinga Lighthouse
Cape Reinga Lighthouse n.jpg
Cape Reinga Lighthouse is located in New Zealand
Cape Reinga Lighthouse
Cape Reinga Lighthouse
Location in New Zealand
Location Cape Reinga
North Island
New Zealand
Coordinates 34°25′35.9″S 172°40′39.5″E / 34.426639°S 172.677639°E / -34.426639; 172.677639
Year first constructed 1941
Year first lit 1941
Automated 1987
Construction concrete tower
Tower shape octagonal tower with balcony and lantern
Markings / pattern white towe, black dome lantern
Height 10 metres (33 ft)
Focal height 165 metres (541 ft)
Range 19 nautical miles (35 km; 22 mi)
Characteristic FL W 12s
Admiralty number K3688
NGA number 3796
ARLHS number NZL-012

Cape Reinga Lighthouse is a lighthouse at Cape Reinga in the Northland Region of the North Island of New Zealand. It is owned and operated by Maritime New Zealand. The lighthouse is a common New Zealand icon and a popular tourist destination although the lighthouse itself is not open to the public.


Journal kept by Cape Reinga Lighthouse Keeper (11456459585)
Journal kept by Cape Reinga Lighthouse Keeper (1945)

The lighthouse was built in 1941 and first lit during May of that year. It was the last manned light to be built in New Zealand and replaced the Cape Maria Van Diemen Lighthouse, located on nearby Motuopao Island, which had been built in 1879. Accessing that lighthouse was difficult due to the rough seas in the area, so in 1938, it was decided to move the lighthouse to Cape Reinga for safety reasons. The complete lantern fittings from Motuopao Island were reused at Cape Reinga, though the new lighthouse was fitted with a 1000 watt electrical lamp instead that could be seen for 26 nautical miles (48 km). The lamp was powered by a diesel generator.

In 1987, the lighthouse was fully automated and the lighthouse keepers were withdrawn. The lighthouse is now monitored remotely from Wellington. In May 2000 the original lens and lamp were replaced by a 50 watt beacon. The beacon is powered by batteries that are recharged by solar cells. The beacon flashes every 12 seconds and can be seen for 19 nautical miles (35 km).

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