Okay, it’s not like the magnificent stone castles you often find throughout Europe. But New Zealand does have something just as magnificent called Castlepoint. Unlike the stone castles that were man-made in Europe, Castlepoint’s stone beauty comes from the work of nature.
Captian Cook also saw these similarities when he first discovered the land in 1770; he named the large rock that the lighthouse now sits upon “Castle Rock” because of the similar fortifications that he had seen castles in Europe have.
Castlepoint is a remote beach area along the Wairarapa coast approximately two hours north of Wellington.
With a unique stone layout that forms three different beaches, numerous vantage points and a “throne” fit for any royal (or person in general), Castlepoint is an absolute must-do in New Zealand.
The famous lighthouse that stands atop the kilometre long reef was first built in 1913 as the last “manned” lighthouse in New Zealand. But by 1988 it became fully automated from a control room in Wellington. The light can be seen nearly 30km out at sea and is used by sailors to navigate their way to Wellington.
Being one of the more popular tourist attractions in the North Island the castle-like beach will most likely have to be shared with other visitors (as always is the case when visiting castles in Europe anyway. But still totally worth it!)
While the lighthouse offers scenic views that make you feel as if you were at the edge of the world, the best view comes from the top of the hill behind Christmas Bay.
A thirty minute walk up the hill offers an ariel view of the entire region. Per usual to New Zealand standards, benches are also placed in the perfect spots to enjoy the surroundings.
So contrary to popular belief, there are castles in New Zealand. You just have to know where to look.